49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

June 19, 2008
Walker "wows" Martz in practice

I had an interesting interview with Mike Martz today, which I will be s ...t ...r ... e ....t ...c ...h ...i ...n ...g out over the next five weeks until training camp begins. I got a nice reaction out of Martz when I asked him about tight end Delanie Walker. Martz certainly was familiar with the team's main offensive weapons - Frank Gore, Isaac Bruce, Vernon Davis -- upon arriving in San Francisco. But he admits he knew little about Walker, a sixth-round pick in 2006. Here's what he had to say when asked about Walker:

"Wow. That's how I would say it. Wow. He has some real wow factor to him. He is such a professional and he works so hard at it. He's such a stickler for detail. You talk about some jets and some ability to run and eat up the field. Holy cow. I didn't know anything about Delanie until I got here. The last week or two, we put some things in just for him and he just really excelled."

Do you now go back and add plays after seeing certain offensive players in action over the last three weeks?

"No question. That final (offensive group) we get down to ... each one of those guys will have stuff for him in every game plan and certainly Delanie is a guy that you have to make sure you get him in there and put him in an environment where he can get a step on a safety or linebacker because he can win those battles."

Does he play the same position as Vernon Davis?

"Sometimes. He plays several positions. You can either put him where Vernon is and take Vernon out or put him in different positions. He's capable of several positions."

Of course, the team's previous offensive coordinators also have seen Walker's potential but have had mixed results as far as working him into the offense. Last year, Walker caught 21 passes for 174 yards. Twelve of those receptions and 116 of those yards came in the final four games of the season.

If there was an overall theme from Martz today it was that the 49ers have an abundance of offensive talent - they just need someone to put them in the right position to use that talent. The season depends on whether Martz can do that. It should be fun to watch....

-- Matt Barrows

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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