At bet365 we don’t do ordinary.
And neither does Washington Commanders defensive end K.J. Henry.
The latest Washington rookie to make an impact in his debut NFL season, Henry is coming off a breakout performance in the Commanders’ Week 11 loss to the New York Giants.
The 2023 fifth-round pick tallied 1.5 sacks, two QB hits, two tackles for loss, and two passes defended while playing 37 snaps on defense. Henry had played 21 total snaps on defense prior to the game, so last Sunday was his true first taste of NFL action.
How did Henry put up those numbers despite having such limited in-game experience?
“This is my job, so treat it as such,” Henry said. “I really made sure I was intentional keeping up with the playbook and gameplan each week. I have an earpiece in on the sideline making sure I was in depth with all the calls… just doing everything that I could within my job description while I was waiting my turn.”
Henry’s efforts earned him high praise from Washington head coach Ron Rivera, and the rookie looks poised to be a key member of the Commanders’ new-look defensive line heading into the final games of the 2023 season and beyond.
Henry is the son of a football lifer - current North Carolina A&T safeties coach Keith Henry.
Keith was appointed to his current role in April 2023, his latest position on a long list of coaching jobs held in collegiate football. Over three decades, Keith has been a defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, and coached various defensive position groups - including his son’s position of defensive end.
His most noteworthy stop was at Wake Forest between 2001-11. Henry coached outside linebackers, defensive ends, defensive backs, and special teams as the Deamon Deacons reached five bowl games and won the 2006 ACC title during his tenure.
K.J.’s relationship with his father still holds the same coach-player dynamic as before, although he jokes it’s not quite the same.
“I’ve kinda eclipsed where he was able to reach in his football career, so he’s listening to me a little bit more,” K.J. said. “That’s all we talk about is football. The ins and outs, the techniques and things like that. Where I can get better and where he sees I can grow in my game.”