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Delanie Walker 'wanted to be a starter in this league'

CULVER CITY, Calif. -- In a ramshackle dressing room, I'm conversing with a shirtless Delanie Walker.

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A nearby stylist is whipping Walker's red dress shirt into shape minutes prior to his appearance on NFL Network. An unruly environment for our Q&A, but Walker is focused as I ask what convinced him to leave the San Francisco 49ers for the Tennessee Titans.

"I wanted to be a starter in this league," Walker said. "Being a second-string tight end for seven seasons is good, but I wasn't the man. I felt like going on my eighth season, I needed to be the guy."

With tight end Jared Cook departing for the St. Louis Rams, the Titans have assured Walker he'll "play a large role" in Tennessee. After Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman creatively used Walker all over the field last season, I asked if he was concerned about migrating to an attack that finished 26th in the NFL last season.

"(The Titans) kind of run a similar offense as the 49ers, and I think that's why they grabbed me, because I can play multiple positions, move all over the field, and be a key player," Walker said. "So I feel like I'm going to take that role again, but it's going to be even bigger. I see myself making great, big plays there, just like they told me. They want me ... to be a leader on that team."

Part of the attraction for Walker -- along with more playing time -- is a chance to turn Tennessee into a winner again.

"We're building," Walker said, while buttoning up his newly ironed shirt. "They're very young ... but we'll get there, just like the 49ers did."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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