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Reid on OL Ricky Henry's Toughness, Mentality

One offensive lineman who has been working his way up the Chiefs depth chart has been former Nebraska Cornhusker Ricky Henry

There's a reason you keep hearing the name Ricky Henry at Chiefs training camp.

Henry, a fourth-year offensive lineman who spent all of last season for the Chiefs on Injured Reserve, has demonstrated the kind of toughness and grit that coach Andy Reid likes seeing in his offensive linemen.

"He's a tough kid. I'm not telling you it's all pretty," Reid said. "He looks like Larry the Cable Guy and plays like Larry the Cable Guy. He's kind of a dirt bag-type guy. He gets in there and he's rough and tough and scrappy."


In two years at Nebraska, Henry started 28 games at right guard and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior.

Having first signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Henry spent one year with both the Bears and then the New Orleans Saints (2012).

He was claimed by the Chiefs in August of 2013 after being released and was put on Injured Reserve less than two weeks later.

Henry re-signed with the Chiefs in January.

Even though he spent all of last season on IR, Henry was still around to learn the offensive scheme, something Reid believes he has improved upon.

"I think he's got better grasp of the offense," Reid said. "His pass protection has gotten better. Every offensive lineman is going to tell you they can get better. There's always work to be done."

Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson is impressed at how Henry came back from his arm injury last season and how he's put himself in a good position.

"It was unfortunate—the injury he had last year [and] being on the IR like he was," Pederson said. "He's overcome that and he's worked himself into a good position here.

"All the guys that come in here, that's the one thing you'll see—their dedication, their heart, their willingness to compete. Limit the mental mistakes and those are the guys you can play with on Sunday."

Working at both right and left guard at camp, Henry admitted there are challenges to swapping sides, but said it just comes with time.

Best photos of the Chiefs offensive linemen from Training Camp.

"It's something I've had to work on a little bit, but every day you do it so you try to get used to it," Henry said. "It's something where you just got to flip everything in your head when you go to the other side."

Known for the nasty streak he plays with on the field, Henry said this particular offensive scheme suits him well and frequently puts him in situations he enjoys.

"The type of plays we run, they let guards get out in screens and in space," Henry explained. "It just lets you go out 1-on-1 with the little guy and truck him. So that's fun."

Pederson admitted that Henry has the attitude you want from an offensive lineman.

"He's got that killer instinct up front and that's what you want from your offensive line," Pederson said. "You want some of that dirty, mean, tough mentality. And he's got that."

When asked about his constant searching for someone to hit down the field, Henry made it simple.

"If you don't hear the whistle blow you got to keep moving," Henry said.

Henry's next opportunity to hit someone in a different-colored jersey will be Sunday against the Panthers.

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