- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- The Tennessee Titans were dragged down by up to six players who qualified as "cancers" and didn't care that the team wasn't winning, tight end Delanie Walker said in a Radio Row interview at the Super Bowl.
Speaking on The Midday 180 from Nashville, Walker picked up on a message he sent during the season when he said "cancers" in the locker room needed to be identified and removed.
"When we started losing more games, we got to see it more and more, it was just like it was falling apart," he said. "And the players that were the cancer were dragging other players into that box with them, and the box was getting bigger and bigger. At first, it was just a small box. The box just got bigger and bigger.
"Everybody [saw] it. So I feel like these coaches are going to come in, they're going to watch film and they're going to see. They're going to see what type of players that want to be here and don't want to be here, and he's going to get rid of them. I feel that's what type of coach [recently hired coach Ken Whisenhunt is]."
The Titans started 3-1 but then fell apart, losing eight of their next 10 games, including a home loss to the then-winless Jacksonville Jaguars. Tennessee finished 7-9 in the terrible AFC South and fired coach Mike Munchak a week after the season ended.
"Some of the guys that was the cancer, they really didn't care," Walker said. "They'd be happy to get up on out from the organization.
"You would hear them talk about it, 'I can't wait to get up on out of here.' And I always told guys, 'If you can't play here, what do you think you are going to do with another team?'"
Walker stopped short of naming names and said he understood there were money issues in play for some. He said everyone in the locker room knows who the problem players were.
In his first year with the Titans, Walker didn't feel it was his role to confront players. He will be more likely to do so going forward and will be candid with the new coaching staff if he's asked about teammates.
"I met with [Munchak], we actually talked after a walk-through and he was like, 'I don't want you to say any names, but we know,'" Walker said. "Munchak knew. But there wasn't nothing he could do at that time.
"I felt like that is why Munchak is not back with the Tennessee Titans, because we had players like that that really let him down. They didn't show up to play for him. They really didn't care if Munchak had a job or not."
(Paul Kuharsky is a co-host of The Midday 180 and was part of the interview with Walker.)
1dDoug Clawson, ESPN Stats & Information