Rookies across the NFL are learning new things this summer.
But the ones in Tennessee won’t be getting much information about Delanie Walker, at least not yet.
The veteran tight end told Jason Wolf of the Tennesseean that it’s not time to make friends with newcomers until they prove their value.
“I don’t get to know anybody until they make the team,” Walker said. “I talk to them, but they might not be here. There ain’t too much I need to learn from them till they make the team. That’s everybody. Anyone that’s a rookie.
“You’ve got to earn the right. These rookies come in nowadays, stuff’s given to them. I’m not going to be your friend until you make the team.”
Of course, Walker came up the hard way, making the 49ers as a sixth-round pick and forging a long and productive (and lucrative) career. And his words might sound a little harsher than they were probably meant. He’s just trying to make sure there’s nothing taken for granted on a roster which will include plenty of rookies, including running back Derrick Henry.
“I’ve been sizing up Henry, man, and he’s a big dude,” Walker said. “I have to put him in his place early. But he’s a good dude. I’m just messing with him, giving him a hard time because I feel like he’s going to be a monster for this team. I usually don’t talk to the rookies until they make the team. But he’s one of the guys that I think can help this team out.”
With a fresh contract extension signed this offseason, Walker knows he’s going to be around for the foreseeable future, and it sounds like he’s going to spend part of it sizing up the new class, as one of the few elders on the Titans roster with the right.