In his three seasons in Tennessee, Anthony Firkser has been the understudy of some talented tight ends.
Now the starting spot is his for the taking and the opening is present for Firkser to be the latest Titans tight end to shine.
One of his former fellow tight ends believes Firkser has what it takes to be one of the best and the talent around him to be sensational in 2021.
"He sat under me for years and I tried to teach him everything I know, but the dude got wiggles. He can get open, he can catch the ball. I think he going to be elite," former Titans tight end Delanie Walker said recently on the Talking w/TD podcast with Turron Davenport. "Just adding Julio [Jones], it's gonna open, have more opportunities for him. Over the middle. With matchups against linebackers. And that's gonna be hard for them to cover him, cause he destroys linebackers within seconds. It's gonna be good."
Walker was a standout for the Titans who hauled in a trio of Pro Bowl selections. However, it was during two injury-depleted seasons in 2018 and 2019 that he was teammates with Firkser. While Walker was sidelined with an ankle injury that he's still on the comeback trail from, it was Jonnu Smith who emerged as the Titans' top tight end.
Smith has now moved on, too, having signed with the Patriots.
So this is Firkser's time to shine and opportunity to seize.
"I feel like it's going to be a good year for him," Walker said. "I'm excited. I hope he does well, cause I want him to get paid. That's what it comes down to. Just hope he does well. I know he built his confidence over the years. Now he has that opportunity to be the starter. I told him the last time I saw him, I said it's your opportunity, don't lose it. Cause they don't give it to many people often. He has the opportunity to be great. And I think with Julio and A.J. [Brown] and Derrick Henry, that opportunity is high."
Henry has arisen as the NFL's most prolific running back. Brown is an emerging star and Jones is a Hall of Fame receiver who's renewed optimism in the Ryan Tannehill-quarterbacked offense. It's been the tight end position that has been a consistent high point for the Titans offense for the longest, though, dating back to Walker's finest days. It continued with Smith. Now one of the prevailing questions for the Titans is if Firkser can flourish in the starting role.
At the least, Firkser has the endorsement of one former teammate.