Jim Wyatt, Senior Writer/Editor, TitansOnline.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –It’s been a busy offseason for Titans tight end Delanie Walker.
During a stop on the Titans Caravan last week, the Pro Bowler discussed several topics, including his NFL-sponsored USO tour, new tight end Jonnu Smith and the new weapons on offense.
Some quick hits:
Walker flew to the Middle East as part of a USO tour, which allowed him to see the troops and get a behind-the-scenes education about the military.
“It was a great experience,” Walker said. “We got to go out there and let the troops know that we do care about them, and we are happy what they are doing, protecting us. Really, that is why we are able to play the game peacefully. I was a great experience to see what they do, and what they go through.”
Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell and Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan were also on the USO Tour with Walker.
The players were in the Middle East when President Trump ordered airstrikes on an airfield in Syria on April 7.
“The ones behind the scenes, the ones that fix the planes, that fix the tanks, that oil the guns, people never talk about them,” Walker said. “And they’re the ones that make sure our soldiers that do go in there are prepared and ready to fight. I think that was the biggest eye-opener for me.
“I wasn’t nervous at all over there. Our Army is the best Army in the world, so they are going to protect us.”
The Titans added another tight end to the fold in the NFL Draft in Smith. He joins Walker and fellow tight ends Phillip Supernaw, Jace Amaro, Jerome Cunningham and Tim Semisch on the roster.
The 6-foot-3, 248-pound Smith arrives with some pretty impressive credentials.
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Smith caught 178 passes for 2,001 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career.
Some have compared him to Walker.
“I know a little bit about him, and I’ve watched some film on him,” Walker said of Smith. “I think he is a very physical, talented tight end and I can’t wait for him to come in so I can get into his ear and hopefully he can bring something to the table with his play to help this team out.”
Walker’s best advice to Smith: Watch me.
“He is going to have to pay his dues,” Walker said. “He can learn from me, and I think he will be a sponge. He is not a guy that talks a lot. He is going to come in and he is going to understand his place. He is going to come in and learn from the guys we have, and if he steps up I am pretty sure he is going to have an opportunity to play.”
Draft picks on offense
The Titans addressed offense early in the draft.
The team drafted Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick, and then used both third-round picks on offense as well.
Western Kentucky receiver Taywan Taylor and Smith give quarterback Marcus Mariota some new targets. The Titans used a seventh round pick on California running back Khalfani Muhammad. Six of the team’s nine picks came on offense.
“I am always looking forward to working with the new guys,” Walker said. “I can’t really say how well they are going to be. This is the NFL system and they have to come in and fit in with our program, with what we have going on. But I am excited to see what they bring in the table.”