Delanie Walker says he doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore, even though a couple of fans made a sign and gave it to him after Sunday’s practice.
But just for the record, Walker turned 34 on Sunday and the Tennessee Titans tight end shows no signs of slowing down.
“It’s just another day,” Walker said of his birthday. “I’m 34. That’s what everybody has been saying to me today is how am I still able to play as fast as I do and be so old. I’m just blessed. At the end of the day, that’s all I can tell them.”
In addition to counting his blessings with good health, Walker also is thankful that he signed with the Titans in 2013, because that turned into the opportunity he was looking for. In fact, he still thanks former Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who was on Mike Munchak’s staff, for helping to jump-start his career.
“It was just the opportunity. I tell people that all the time. The Titans gave me the opportunity to be elite in this league. I told them then that if they gave me the opportunity, I wouldn’t let them down, and it’s panned out. I’ve really got to thank Dowell and that group that brought me in and believed in me,” Walker said.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel, of course, appreciates Walker’s professional example for teammates to follow.
“I think that would be nice. I just don’t know if everybody is that lucky or that blessed or have the ability to work that hard over the course of a long career like that, where sometimes the body doesn’t want to cooperate,” Vrabel said. “I think with Delanie, he’s a true professional. He comes in here and works. He takes care of his body. He puts in as much time on the practice field as he does off the practice field. I think that’s the one thing the young guys can take with them is how much this guy does outside of practice and meetings to be a professional.”
Offensive struggles: The Titans first-team offense struggled several times in the passing game as Marcus Mariota and his receivers seemed off in their timing.
Mariota had two passes picked off, as Logan Ryan intercepted a ball early in practice on a ball thrown behind the intended receiver.
Also, Adoree’ Jackson tipped a red zone 7-on-7 pass to himself and intercepted it as well in the front corner of the end zone.
Play of the day: Even though Mariota had his struggles, he made the play of the day, completing a deep sideline route to Tajae Sharpe, who made a toe-tap catch. That came in a two-minute drill where on the previous play Mariota had been sacked with 16 seconds left. The offense scrambled to the line and Mariota got the play off to Sharpe for a 40-yard completion. Sharpe got out of bounds with one second left. Ryan Succop then drilled a 38-yard field goal to complete the drive.
Long shot of the day: Cameron Batson made a nice running catch on the sideline from Blaine Gabbert during team drills, showing off how good the offense can look when the timing plays are run correctly.
Roster moves: The bottom of the roster continues to be churned as the Titans waived defensive back Josh Kalu and tight end Nick DeLuca. The Titans added three players, signing linebackers Tony Washington and Davond Dade and defensive lineman Francis Kallon.
In plain view: First-round pick Rashaan Evans, who has been out since the third day of camp with a leg injury of some sort, was working out briefly on the field doing upper body work with ropes.