Delaine Walker said last week that his goal is to catch 70 passes this season. That is a lofty goal that is unlikely to come to fruition, but there is no doubt that the Titans want Walker to be the #1 tight end option in this offense. So what is a realistic expectation for Walker this season?
Here is what Titans' OC Dowell Loggains had to say about him during the OTAs (via Greg Pogue):
"I expect him to catch more passes than he did last year in San Francisco," Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "We are really excited about him. We are excited about him as a player and a person. The guy is a leader. He started at the bottom, and he's been to the Super Bowl. He's ready to be the breakout tight end and be the guy."
The first thing that Walker has to focus on here is catching the football. He had a problem with drops in San Fran, and the quickest way to get the quarterback to look past you in the progression is to drop catchable passes.
Walker brings a lot to the table, he is regarded as a very good run blocker, so he will be on the field a lot more than Jared Cook was. That will lead to an increase in opportunities over what Cook saw last year. It will be up to Delanie to make the most of those opportunities.
The ceiling for Walker is probably around 50 catches. He might have the ability to catch 70 balls, but the reality is there is only one football to go around. There is little doubt that the Titans want to be run heavy this year, and with receivers like Kenny Britt, Kendall
Walker Wright (that is what happens when the site is down for 2 days- I lose my mind), Nate Washington (?) and Justin Hunter, the balls thrown to the tight ends should be limited.
I will put the over/under at 44.5. What say ye?