When the Tennessee Titans announced the hire of Arthur Smith as the team's new offensive coordinator, the collective response from most outside the organization was: "Who?"
One player who knows Smith well, tight end Delanie Walker, shed some light on the new OC, and loves the move for Tennessee.
"I would say he's a great hire," Walker said of Smith, via the team's official website. "The guy has worked on defense, offense, and he's been in every room. He knows the game, he studies his butt off and I know he is going to be a great OC. I am going to do everything in my power to make sure I can provide for him and make sure he is successful.
"The dude knows what he is doing. He understands football."
Smith has worked in Tennessee the past eight seasons, surviving three coaching changes. The past six years he's worked with tight ends in some capacity, the past two the full-time TE coach.
As Walker's primary coach, the veteran knows Smith's mental acuity, work ethic and preparedness as well as anyone. The 34-year-old Walker gives Smith's ascension into the play-calling role two thumbs up.
"When he first took over for Mike Mularkey, the way he taught us the plays and the way he gave us the ideas on the concepts of what the coaches wanted," Walker said of Smith, "it was probably one of the best ways I ever had a coach teach up the plays, and I think everyone in that room could say the same thing about his structure.
"Giving him this opportunity and the way he wanted it, I know he is going to take advantage of this and never look back. I am excited to find out the offense he is going to run, and how he is going to install it. ... I will be there supporting him every step of the way. I can't tell you how excited I am to see him get this job.
"I know his goal is to be a head coach in this league, and this is just another step for him."
Smith's hire might be a surprise to some, but to hear Walker talk about the 36-year-old coach, he's ready for the challenge.
After watching Freddie Kitchens arise from anonymity into a rock star role in Cleveland, we'll reserve our judgment on Smith until he gets a chance to put his stamp on an ever-changing Titans offense.