Vigilantes' Henderson making strides


PLANO, Texas -- As the Dallas Vigilantes' hopes of postseason play dim with each loss, wide receiver Kenny Henderson continues his routine of staying after practice to run extra sprints.

While the extra work hasn't showed in the win column, it has paid off for Henderson, who won his second consecutive Nifty Playmaker of the Week award.

"My knowledge of the game is just coming a lot easier," Henderson said. "Just like being a freshman, and now you're a junior. The game's just moving a lot slower, and plays are coming to me."

Henderson leads the AFL in all-purpose yards, kickoff return yards and all-purpose yards per game, and leads the Vigilantes in receptions (65), points (122) and touchdowns (20).

"He's a guy who comes to work every day, doesn't moan, gets it done, punches the clock, stays late and runs after practice," Vigilantes interim coach James Fuller said. "All that translates into good play, and that's what hes been doing."

Henderson, the smallest of any player on the active roster at 5-9, has stolen some of the spotlight away from his veteran teammates. Receivers Larry Brackins and Will Pettis are decorated Arena League players and fairly large targets (Brackins is 6-5; Pettis 6-0).

Henderson attended Tuskegee before joining the now-defunct New Orleans VooDoo for his first season of Arena Football in 2007. He has battled injuries his entire career, but said the break from football after the Arena League ceased operations allowed him to return at full strength.

This week, the slumping Vigilantes (1-8) -- losers of six straight -- visit the Alabama Vipers (5-5), who are in the top third of the league in pass defense. So, as usual, Henderson will have to make the most of opportunities afforded to him.

"I dont underestimate his talent," Fuller said. "There's been a couple games where [opposing teams] have tried to keep him out of it, and he was still successful. He does what he has to do, and that's what everyone should do."

Josh Davis is an ESPNDallas.com intern and a writer for TCU's student newspaper, the Daily Skiff.