Pats on the Chris Henry tragedy
|12.17.09 at 12:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Patriots cornerback Shawn Springs had a sad flashback Thursday morning when news of the death of 26-year-old Chris Henry broke. Springs was a teammate of Sean Taylor in Washington when Taylor was shot and killed in the 2007 season.
“I don’t know how they’re going to respond but I know when I was in Washington, the death of Sean actually brought us closer together. At that time, we were actually struggling and I think it brought us closer together as a team,” Springs recalled.
[To hear Springs compare the Henry death with Sean Taylor, click here.]
“I think everybody started to appreciate each other more. Although, we play a sport, I think we take it for granted how lucky we are. Guys started saying, ‘I love you, man.’”
Springs recalled how Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Joe Gibbs helped the team get over the tragedy by flying the team to Florida for his funeral.
“I think one of the biggest things that helped was that Coach Gibbs is a very spiritual man and he put it in an aspect we all are put here to provide a service and a reason and all of our days are numbered,” Springs said. “Then he brought in his family and we became a tighter group. I don’t know how Cincinnati is going to handle it but that’s how we handled it.”
Leigh Bodden had numerous encounters with the Henry when Bodden was a corner for the Cleveland Browns. Bodden would square off against Henry, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh twice a year.
“He was a great talent,” Bodden said of Henry. “I used to tell all my friends, that was the best three-wide receiver [set] in the whole league when they had Chris Henry, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. It’s just amazing. He was a great talent. It’s just very sad to see something like that happen to a guy like that. He’s had his problems but he was a good kid and a great talent. It’s just sad to see.”
Patriots practice squad quarterback Jeff Rowe was drafted by the Bengals in 2007 and played with Henry that preseason before Henry was suspended for the first eight games of the regular season by the NFL for off-the-field transgressions.
“It’s just sickening,” Rowe said of the passing of the 26-year-old Henry this morning in Charlotte. “Chris was such a wonderful guy to be around. I know everyone in that locker room absolutely loved him. It’s just disheartening. It’s terrible. I knew him pretty decent. He was just so pleasant to be around, so easy to be around. It’s just so sad. I know he went through a lot of trouble in his life and he’s just such a good person, even all the trouble he went through, it [stinks] this is when it happened.
“He was working really hard to change his life. That was probably the saddest part, he was such a great guy. He was incredibly talented. His potential was unbelievable.”
Rowe said he spoke briefly to Carson Palmer’s brother, Jordan, also a back-up in Cincinnati, shortly after news of Wednesday’s accident broke.
“He had a huge support network,” Rowe said. “I know everyone there absolutely loved him. He was such an easy guy to be around. He was so kind and such a nice person.”
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