The biggest winner from the Tennessee Titans decision to hire Ken Whisenhunt as their next head coach is tight end Delanie Walker, who is heading into his second season with the organization. Not only did the Titans strike gold by hiring Whisenhunt, who was the best head coach available and has plenty of experience, but Walker struck platinum due to the hiring of Whisenhunt and Whisenhunt’s choice at offensive coordinator. He brought former San Diego Chargers tight ends coach Jason Michael with him to be the Titans OC, and both Whisenhunt and Michael focus on the tight end position as their forte.
That means Delanie Walker will likely be an even bigger part of the offense, and he’s always been a touted player ever since being an excellent backup to star Vernon Davis while with the San Francisco 49ers. Now that he’s the top tight end with the Titans, Walker has been given more playing time and many more opportunities as a receiver. In 2013, Walker hauled in 60 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns, and those were easily career-highs for the first-time starter.
We should expect even bigger things from the 29-year-old, and it’s not just because it will be his second year as a starter. Both Michael and Whisenhunt will make Walker an even better player, and they will make him an even bigger part of the gameplan on offense. Walker is one of the league’s better all-around tight ends due to his blocking and pass-catching ability, and I think he’s in store for a huge year in 2014.
I mean, just listen to what Whisenhunt has to say about him, via the Nashville Tennessean’s John Glennon, “I had a lot of respect for him there, so needless to say I’m excited that he’s on this team and I’ll have a chance to work with him. Working with Antonio Gates got me excited about the position, and I think there’s a lot of elements to what Delanie does that are similar in that capacity.”
Backups Craig Stevens and Taylor Thompson also figure to improve and be bigger parts of the offense due to Whisenhunt’s and Michael’s coaching, but nobody stands to gain nearly as much as Walker does.