Texans RB Chris Henry remembers the progress he was making as a rookie with Tennessee three seasons ago.
"I was getting going," Henry, a second-round pick in the 2007 draft who is vying to make Houston's roster, recently told PFW. "Things were going on the up-and-up."
But in November 2007, Henry, who had begun to get more playing time in October and had responded with good performances in wins at Houston and vs. Oakland, was suspended for four games for violating the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. He attributed the positive test to a substance he declined to specifically name, though he did call it a "non-steroid-related substance" he had used before when trying to stay alert while studying for tests in college.
Henry, 25, takes responsibility for the incident, and he said he learned from the experience. But he would receive just 11 more carries after serving the suspension with Tennessee, which eventually released him last Sept. 29. The Texans signed him to their practice squad on Oct. 7 and promoted him to the active roster on Dec. 9, but he did not appear in a game.
Henry, contending primarily for a backup role as one of five running backs with the Texans, knows special-teams work will be a key part of his responsibilities if he makes the club. He grew to like that part of the job as his Titans career progressed, he said, noting it helped him make the roster at the beginning of the '09 campaign. "It took me a season or two to realize, 'OK, this is something that I have to do to be a member of this team and to produce,' " he said.
The 5-11, 230-pound Henry, who was timed at under 4.4 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine, says he's made strides in the quickness of his decisions once he receives the handoff. "I've been way more decisive, which has been able to help me make sharper cuts," he said.
Henry, who got a good deal of his work on the Houston practice squad running the opponent's plays, relished the opportunity to get more work in the Texans' offense in organized team activities this offseason. He's excited about the chance to compete in training camp, noting that he's a "firm believer" that "if you have players who rise to the competition, it's going to make that position even better."
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