With a smile, Titans tight end Delanie Walker apologized for the lack of pomp and circumstance.
A day after teammate Taylor Lewan showed up for his media session wearing a Boss Hogg outfit and the “Theme from the Dukes of Hazzard (Good ‘Ol Boy)” playing on a speaker, Walker arrived for his gathering in a t-shirt, sweatpants and a baseball cap.
Like Lewan, Walker received a contract extension from the team on Friday.
“I couldn’t top Taylor,” Walker explained, “so sorry to disappoint. I couldn’t find a white suit in time.”
Walker sure hasn’t disappointed since joining the Titans, and now he’s ready to do more.
“It feels good,” Walker said. “I feel like I worked hard on the field, and especially off the field with the community. So it feels good that the organization recognized that, sees what I did, and rewarded me with a nice contract. So I am excited about that.”
Walker, headed into his 13th NFL season, has played in three straight Pro Bowls. He was also the organization’s Community Man of the Year in 2013 and 2015. At the age of 33, he said he feels great. Walker’s contract was previously set to expire following the 2018 season. He received a two-year extension.
“I hear a lot of guys say I’m taking stuff, and ‘What am I taking?’ because they need it,” Walker, smiling, said of his longevity. “But all jokes aside, they praise me and want to know what I’m doing and being able to come out here year after year and play the way I play. And the message that I give them is just taking care of your body and know that at the end of the day, it is a game. I treat it as that. It is a kid’s game and I treat it as that every time I step on the field.”
Walker was named to his third straight Pro Bowl in 2017 after he led the team with 74 receptions for 807 yards and three touchdowns. He was named Offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl after catching two touchdowns in the game, including an 18-yard, game-winning score in the fourth quarter.
In 12 seasons, Walker has caught 479 passes for 5,621 yards and 34 touchdowns. He played his first seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before signing with the Titans prior to the 2013 season.
Walker on Saturday talked about a scare he got the day before training camp started — his Lamborghini was hit by an 18-wheeler in downtown Nashville.
“I was actually under the tractor, so it was pretty dangerous. It happened on (July) 24th at 3rd and Union,” Walker said. “I’ve been taking hits for 13 years. Luckily, I got out from underneath that tractor trailer. Someone stopped him, thank God. If that person is listening or sees this interview, thank you for stopping the guy, because he was still going. He didn’t see me at all.”
Walker considers himself fortunate, and coach Mike Vrabel said the Titans are happy to have him on the team.
“He’s gotten better every year,” Vrabel said. “He’s developed. When you go back and you look at the history of where he came from, he’s a developed player. This is a guy that wasn’t some first-round draft pick and has been a starter since day one. He’s worked and he’s gotten better every year, and he continues to do that. He works and takes care of his body, and he loves football.”
Walker contract is now scheduled to run through 2020.
So, how long will he play?
“You know, year 13 and I feel great,” Walker said. “As long as I still feel (good), I think I’ll play as long as the organization wants me or if the NFL tells me they don’t want me in the league anymore, that’s when I’ll stop. But they are going to have to boot me out because it’s going to be tough.”