NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans like the fit they think
|The Titans agreed to a multi-year contract with former 49ers TE Delanie Walker. Click here for a slideshow of Walker's NFL career.|
Walker agreed to a multi-year contract with Tennessee and arrived at Baptist Sports Park on Wednesday to be introduced along with other free agent signees G
Titans general manager Ruston Webster and coach Mike Munchak envision Walker all over the field in a variety of roles. Where he starts once the Titans break the huddle may not be where he is when the ball gets snapped. Webster and Munchak liked what they saw on film from Walker’s seven seasons with San Francisco, particularly this past year that ended in Super Bowl XLVII.
“Last year, we kind of looked for one of those types of tight ends that we could move, play more of an ‘H’ back role,” Webster said. “He can play several different spots for us, play the wing, play the fullback, split out and play in the slot, play outside the numbers. He’s done all of that and gives us a lot of versatility in both run and pass. We’re excited about these guys.”
Walker, 28, joined the press conference in progress as the ink on his contract dried. He wore a new Titans hat as he joined the other signees, not knowing of a Titans team rule that requires removal of hats while in the building.
Walker (6-foot-1, 241 pounds) is known for his ability to block in the run game and his versatility. Walker can play tight end, line up at multiple places across the field and improvise when a pass play is extended. He played receiver in college, so he also has experience running crisp routes. Walker played his junior and senior seasons at Central Missouri, where he had 109 receptions for 1,347 yards and 10 TD catches those two seasons after transferring from Mt. San Antonio Community College in his hometown of Pomona, Calif., near Los Angeles.
Walker returned to his home state when San Francisco drafted him in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the 175th overall pick. Walker recorded 123 catches for 1,465 yards (11.9 per catch) and eight touchdowns in seven seasons with the 49ers.
|Delanie Walker meets tight ends coach George Henshaw after arriving at Baptist Sports Park.|
Last season Walker made 21 catches, including three touchdowns, for career bests of 344 yards and 16.4 yards per catch. Walker made 40 starts and played 99 games for San Francisco.
“Basically, from what I know in talking to the coaches, I’m going to have a similar role that I’ll be able to manage,” Walker said. “I think they want to try to put me down in different spots and get me an opportunity to make plays. I think that’s why they (brought) me here, to make plays, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
When Walker was behind Vernon Davis on San Francisco’s depth chart he concentrated on his blocking so he could get on the field more often. He said he liked the way the Titans reached out to him and presented him an opportunity to block and be targeted in the passing game. Walker vowed to spend extra time before and after practices on the machine and with Titans quarterbacks to enhance his role in the passing game.
Munchak said Walker was an important target in free agency, which started Tuesday.
“We were looking in our offense and needed to have a guy that was very comfortable moving around and creating, moving from the backfield to the slot, moving outside the numbers,” Munchak said. “He can play with his speed, plays hard, plays physical, plays well on special teams. He can run. He can do a lot of things that we’ve done in the past with tight ends, where we’ve created a lot of success, a lot of matchup problems with guys like him, so we’re just real excited with what we’re getting and we feel these four guys are a great fit.”