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OT Henderson shrugs off challenges in return to lineup


Bills right tackle Seantrel Henderson has dealt with obstacles in the past. He faced adversity throughout his college career at the University of Miami, and his problems on and off the field caused him to fall to the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft.

But this story is not about those obstacles.

Now seven games into his second season with the Bills, Henderson has proven to two coaching staffs that he is worthy of the starting right tackle position. Doing so has not been easy, of course, but Henderson does not view any part of that process as particularly challenging.

Sure, he has missed essentially two games this season with a concussion, and yes, he is playing alongside a rookie right guard, and true enough, he had to deal with the suspension of his offensive line coach Aaron Kromer. Henderson shrugs it all off.

And the six-foot-seven-inch, 331-pound lineman has a ferocious shrug. He uses it to show that he's not in the business of making excuses.

The concussion? Not an excuse.

"I'm getting back to work and getting ready for this week," he said.

Mentoring rookie John Miller while being in the midst of his own sophomore season? That's not an excuse, either.

"It's not a challenge at all. John is a very smart rookie. He knows the answers to all of the questions, so we're always on point," Henderson said. "If we mess up, that's because we communicated too much."

And his position coach's suspension? Still no excuses.

"It's been a little challenging to not have our coach, but we were still rolling even when we didn't have coach Kromer here as a team. Everybody was still on top of their job, trying to focus on getting better technique-wise, and staying focused for our plays during games," he said.

Center Eric Wood credits Henderson's ability to compartmentalize to his willingness to work hard for results.

"He's a nose-to-the-ground, go to work, and get the job done [kind of guy]," said Wood. "Stuff like that doesn't faze him as much as it might another player who is really emotional or rides highs and lows. He's pretty steady."

That steadiness has helped him to hang on to the starting right tackle position in spite of what head coach Rex Ryan being pleased with the play from backup offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandijo.

"When Seantrel got the concussion, that limited him," said Ryan. "Seantrel maybe had some ups and downs, but I feel confident in him as well."

Henderson says that this season has been easier for him, and that he is growing more and more comfortable in his role with the team.

"[This year is] not as nerve-racking as it was the first year where you don't know what you're coming into, you don't know many people, you don't know the play book. Even though we are running a different play book, it's just easier because you have better relationships with guys who are still on the team," he said.

He's more comfortable with his place in life, and with himself. He's confident that the troubles which plagued him in college are behind him.

"Being here and being locked in, as long as I'm doing things I'm good to go," he said. "I'm just staying out of trouble, staying out of the way, and doing my job."

His teammates on the offensive line are confident in him, too.  Left tackle Cordy Glenn succinctly summed up the level of trust he and the rest of the line have in the promising, young player.

"Total trust," Glenn said.

That trust will be on display Sunday as Henderson returns to an offensive lineup looking to establish consistency and deliver production in a critical division matchup with Miami.

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