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After near interception vs. the Raiders, Ravens DT Willie Henry (sort of) promises to come through next time

After near interception vs. the Raiders, Ravens DT Willie Henry (sort of) promises to come through next time
Ravens tackle Willie Henry, left, forces Raiders quarterback E.J. Manuel to throw away the ball in the fourth quarter. The Ravens defeated the Raiders, 30-17, at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

In the second quarter of the Ravens' 30-17 win at the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, defensive tackle Willie Henry got both hands on a floater from quarterback E.J. Manuel, but could not hang onto the ball for what would have been his first career interception.

The near miss was still on Henry's mind four days later.

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"I've had so many of those in practice that it was kind of like another flashback," he said Wednesday. "I can almost guarantee that the next time I get an opportunity like that to bring it down, I'm going to come down with it."

Aside from that missed opportunity, however, the 6-foot-3, 308-pound Henry has been playing well while filling in for usual starter Brandon Williams, who has sat out the past three games because of a left foot injury.

In Williams' place, Henry, the organization's fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, has amassed 11 tackles and four batted passes at the line of scrimmage. With four pass breakups, Henry is tied with strong safety Eric Weddle for second on the team in that department. (Cornerback Brandon Carr is the leader with six.)

After being active for only one game last season before getting placed on injured reserve on Nov. 15, Henry is enjoying this current stretch of playing time.

"Last year was frustrating because you get drafted and you want to play right away," he said. "… My first thing was to come in here and prove myself to these coaches and this team that I could play in my first year. But God had a different plan for me, a different route, and he gave me an opportunity to play this year, and I just want to make sure that I take a full-fledged advantage of the opportunity that he gave me."

Coach John Harbaugh said that while Henry has been "doing a good job," there are areas to his game that he can clean up.

"Now he's not 100 percent," Harbaugh said. "He'll look at a couple of those plays and we will, too, and he and I will talk about a couple plays where he got pushed back or pushed past or something like that. Screens, he knows I'm getting on him about how he plays screens a little bit. So he'll pick that up. He stayed onside, which was big because they tried to get him – again. Man, he was against a really good left guard [former Raven Kelechi Osemele] a lot of times, and he held his own, more than held his own a number of times. I was really proud of the way he played, the way he stepped up."

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