Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson
August 26, 2020
Q: I was wondering what you’ve seen from Darnay Holmes in camp so far. I know he had an interception in that scrimmage and then he fumbled at the end of the play. But overall, what have you seen out of Darnay, in particular, in the scrimmage, too?
A: The first thing we talked about with Darnay is if you get another interception, stay up the near sideline. Don’t cut back across the field where the big guys are. He’s been super competitive. He’s a really diligent kid. He’s one of those guys that you see him out there early every day working on some part of his game. He always has really good questions in the meetings. He’s in a really good place right now for a young player. He has a lot to learn. He has a long way to go. But one thing about the kid, he’s competing at it very hard.
Q: It seems like a lot of people talk about him and say he plays bigger than his size. Is that something you agree with?
A: Absolutely. He’s got some natural body strength and some explosiveness that he plays with. I’ve been impressed with the young man as a person, too. As a student of the game, he’s doing a good job. Again, he has a long way to go but he’s on a good early path.
Q: You worked with Darrelle Revis and I believe Joe Haden, two very outstanding cornerbacks. What are some of the characteristics that made them so great? What do you see in the group that you have now that maybe can carry over?
A: When you mention guys like that, things you know at this position, you’re going to have to have guys that are really competitive. That they don’t want to lose at anything ever to anybody. Then you have to have great confidence, and then a short memory because any of those guys you name, they’re going to have bad plays. They’re going to have bad moments. You just need to know that I’m going to come back the next play with confidence in my technique, confidence in myself, confidence in my ability, and just go out and play the next play. You have to have a short memory at this position.
Q: How hard is that generally for a young guy who’s looking to impress the coaching staff?
A: Yeah, that’s one of the things you have to learn, is you’re never going to play the perfect game. You just need to keep battling, competing to win the next play. You can’t do anything about the play that just happened. You can’t do anything about the play ahead of this current play. Just be in the moment, win this play, fight the way to win this play.
Q: Chris Williamson is a guy that I don’t think we‘ve talked about at all, and really, haven’t really seemed to have seen a whole lot of him throughout camp so far. What are your thoughts on him so far and what he’s shown?
A: He’s another guy who in the classroom has done a really good job. A really detailed note-taker, asks good questions, smart, he stays into meetings. He’s had some little tweaks and things going on that have kept him from being in the live part of practice, some of the live parts of practice, so he’s a little bit behind in that way. Like right now, he’s up and going full. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of him and you’ll see a lot more of him and you can start to see him show up a little bit on the practice field.
Q: You seem to have quite a few safeties that you guys are either high on or giving a large opportunity to. How are you going to differentiate between, and I’m talking about (Montre) Hartage, Sean Chandler, guys like that. How are you evaluating and what do you value among these guys? What are you looking for from somebody who’s going to make the team?
A: All of those guys are competing and competing hard. Like you said, it’s a… There’s a pack of guys kind of really close right now. Right now, over the scrimmage Friday and the upcoming things when we’re going at higher tempos, all that stuff will work itself out and guys will start to separate themselves. You’ll be able to hopefully see clearly that this guy is the guy over the next guy. But it’s a long season. We know that anybody on our roster is going to play, they’re going to play a lot of football. My job is to get everybody prepared to play like if you’re not the starter now, you may be two plays from now. You have to go in and you have to act like a starter and play at that level. I’m pushing all of those guys to play at a high level, demanding a lot from all those guys. So far, that group has done a good job.
Q: What do you like about Hartage?
A: He has experience in this system, so that’s big. He has experience with the system, experience with Pat (Graham) last year in Miami. He’s a reliable guy. He’s one of those guys that just always does the right thing. He’s where he’s supposed to be, he executes. He’s just really steady and reliable.
Q: Jarren Williams, a guy who wasn’t on a lot of our radars coming into camp, but he’s gotten a lot of reps. What’s impressed you about him?
A: He’s one of those guys that has shown some ability. Like you, I didn’t know a lot about him coming into this. He showed up and I was like, ‘Well, we may have something here.’ He’s competing hard, he has good athleticism, he has good size. He has a chance to develop hopefully into something and we’ll see where it goes. But he’s done a good job of at least grabbing people’s attention.
Q: What’s it like just as a position coach with so many corners with really no or very limited NFL experience? What’s that like for you?
A: Well, there’s good and bad to that. One, you get to train them the way you want them to play, so they don’t come in with this preconceived notion of ‘this is how I play, coach.’ That’s the good part. All those guys have been sponges that way, just wanting to learn some technique and wanting to learn how to play. It’s been a pleasure that way. But then the downside is you don’t get real life NFL experience, game experience and how to handle the heat of the moment. We won’t have the crowds now, but handling ‘that’s a guy that last year I was watching on TV that I’m now competing against.’ How do you handle that? Again, we’ll continue to push that group of corners, put them in spots that they have to challenge and compete, and again, hopefully those guys, and they will, they’ll start to separate themselves.