For the past decade, San Diego Chargers All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates has been among the elite at the position. A likely Hall of Fame talent, being comapred to Gates is quite the statement which is why some have been taken back by recent praise bestowed by Tennessee Titans head coach, Ken Whisenhunt.
Whisenhunt even compared Walker to All-Pro Antonio Gates, whom Whisenhunt coached as Chargers offensive coordinator this season.
Walker played for the 49ers when Whisenhunt coached the NFC West rival Cardinals, so the coach is familiar with the eighth-year pro’s work.
“I had a lot of respect for him there, so needless to say I’m excited that he’s on this team and I’ll have a chance to work with him,” Whisenhunt said. “Working with Antonio Gates got me excited about the position, and I think there’s a lot of elements to what Delanie does that are similar in that capacity.”
The 49ers used Walker in the passing game occasionally – something the Titans previously only attempted to do in the red zone. However, Walker could be in for far greater use in the coming season with Whisenhunt’s desire to incorporate the tight end position into the normal offense.
It’s a little bit of a strange comparison considering Walker is known to have stone hands and Gates’ are about as soft as pillows, but maybe it was just the coach attempting to earn some stripes with his new team.