Tennessee Titans’ quarterback Jake Locker has been quoted as saying that under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt in 2014 the offense will be considered pass-first. In past seasons, the team has relied more on the explosiveness of running back Chris Johnson to have success offensively than an explosive passing QB, but, with Johnson gone and rookie running back Bishop Sankey adjusting to the NFL, the Titans will have to have huge passing numbers if they are even to stand a chance of winning the AFC South and making it to the 2015 NFL Playoffs.
Locker’s help offensively is expected to come in the form of veteran NFL receiver Nate Washington, second-year receiver Justin Hunter, last year’s breakout Kendall Wright, and free agent signee Dexter McCluster, but all these players are expected to contribute based on play calls.
What about when Locker is up against Houston Texans’ defensive duo Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt? Or when the Indianapolis Colts’ Robert Mathis breaks through the offensive line? Who will step up big for the offense and help Locker out?
Veteran tight-end Delanie Walker has come forward and said that he is more than ready to take on a bigger role for the Titans in 2014. Last season in his first year since leaving the San Francisco 49ers, he finished the season with just over 570 yards, 60 receptions, and six touchdowns. With the Titans expected to throw more than last season, Walker should be aiming for around 80 receptions.
If Justin Hunter can have success early in the season, opposing defenses will be forced to cover Wright, Hunter, and Washington, leaving Walker open on linebacker blitzes. Tennessee’s offensive line is better than it has been in a while, so just a few extra seconds for Locker should be enough to dump the ball over the opposing defense to Walker.
Although short for a tight-end at around six-feet tall, Walker has the body type, the athleticism, and the vision to have a breakout season in 2014. He’s been utilized at several different positions in his career, which makes him the versatile, go-to player who will be key to the Titans’ success and will be necessary for the Titans to make a run to the 2014 NFL Playoffs.