Delanie Walker questions Titans’ effort level against Jets
If the Titans are going to stand a chance at pulling off an upset against the Patriots on Sunday, tight end Delanie Walker believes some of his teammates will have to try harder than they did in Week 14.
Following Tennessee’s 38-7 loss to the Jets (a game in which they trailed 27-0 at halftime), Walker questioned the level of effort some of his teammates showed.
“I didn’t watch the defensive film,” he said, per John Glennon of The Tennesseean. “I can only watch the offensive film. You know, some plays, you can see us taking some plays off. … I don’t know what it was. It was a different side of the Titans than I’ve ever seen before. We didn’t play our best football all the way around, including myself.”
This has been another horrible season for the Titans, who could very well be on their way to landing the No. 1 overall pick. Offensive lineman Taylor Lewan disagreed with Walker’s assessment.
“I’ve never played a game with these guys and ever thought that someone is not showing effort,” Lewan said. “I think everybody wants to win just as bad as I do. I would never question any one of my teammates.”
To be fair, Walker wasn’t the only one who thought some guys were dogging it. Interim head coach Mike Mularkey said on Sunday that he noticed some players “loafing” and failing to finish plays. He later backtracked after watching film.
“I know what I said … but the effort was better than I thought it was. It was more of a couple individuals on plays,” Mularkey said Monday. “I’m big into … finishing plays, finishing it to the whistle. It was just more of a player here or there that was not. I just want consistency in it. But it was not as bad as I thought it was in the postgame press conference.”
After taking a night to sleep on it, perhaps Mularkey realized that a lack of effort from the players would reflect poorly on him. The only way he stands any chance of shedding the “interim” lebel — which probably isn’t going to happen — is if the team closes out strong and responds to his leadership.
For now, the only good things we have seen out of Tennessee this season have been plays like this from rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Titans lose their remaining three games.
H/T Around the NFL
Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports