Henry Anderson Looks Back On Rookie Season, Forward To Return

On Wednesday night, Henry Anderson ran through drills with kids at the Colts practice facility. He talked about his rookie season, which started and ended earlier than expected, and his excitement about getting back on the field with his teammates.

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Surrounded by kids and still recovering from ACL surgery four months ago, defensive tackle Henry Anderson tosses a football to a little girl. It slips through her hands and bounces off the turf. He laughs and she runs off excited and disappointed at the same time, which is kind of how he feels about last season. All the while, lyrics from The Script's "Hall of Fame" blare through the sound system in the Colts practice facility. 

You can go the distance, you can run a mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile
You can be the hero, you can get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought would never be broke

Working to come back from injury was not how the Stanford graduate pictured spending his first NFL offseason. The upside of rehab – it kept him in town and out in the community doing things he hopes to do more of.   

"It's definitely cool having this offseason where I've kind of been in Indianapolis the whole time and getting to know people around the community and doing various events and stuff like that."

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Anderson says he learned a lot his rookie season. And though he didn't expect to be called upon so early, he was ready. Starting week one in place of an injured Arthur Jones really opened his eyes to the mental and physical grind of the game.    

"The biggest surprise is how sore my body was after games. Monday mornings I could barely move. I think it's just because you're going against guys who are so much bigger than you went against in college, so that was definitely the biggest surprise for me."

In the NFL, the players hit harder. And the pain lasts longer.  

Yeah, you can be the greatest, you can be the best
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest
You can beat the world, you can win the war
You can talk to God, go banging on his door

Following his week nine injury, Anderson says it also hurt to watch his team struggle late in the season and not be able to contribute.

"Especially because we were kind of short-handed on the defensive line once me and Art (were out), we had other bumps and bruises along the way. But yeah, pretty difficult. The competitor that I am, I hate not being able to help the team."

And that's why he's working as hard as he is right now.

You can throw your hands up, you can beat the clock
You can move a mountain, you can break rocks
Some will call that practice, some will call that luck
But either way you're going to the history books

"Injuries, obviously, they're no fun. And the rehab isn't fun. But it makes you appreciate what you have and how much you love the game. So, definitely looking forward to getting back healthy again and making an impact."

Playing an abbreviated rookie season, Henry Anderson has already made a name for himself in the NFL.

He's a hero in the eyes of the kids running around the Colts practice field.

But he has work to do. And he knows it.

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Standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
'Cos it burns with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Because someday, the world's gonna know his name.

And he won't rest until it does.

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