49ers Blog and Q&A

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

November 26, 2008
Walker on the verge of history

Delanie Walker: Tight end. Kick returner. NFL record holder? With one fortuitous return Sunday in Buffalo, Walker very well could be all three. According to Todd Schreiber at STATS LLC, no tight end ever has returned a kick for a touchdown. Walker, it would seem, has an excellent shot at being the first. With Allen Rossum out with an ankle injury, Walker will be the team's primary kick returner for Sunday and perhaps beyond. The 49ers kick return unit is playing well and already has sprung Rossum for a 104-yard touchdown this season. And Walker has shown he has the wheels to go end zone to end zone, having returned a kick 101 yards against San Diego in the preseason.

Walker already is one of the best. His kick return average is the highest for any tight end with at least 12 returns as the chart below (sorry, this software stinks when it comes to charts) shows. Notice that most tight end/return men are from the modern era as tight ends have become more like wide receivers and less like left tackles... Chart shows player, years in the league, number of returns, total yardage and average ...

  1. Emery Moorehead (1977-1988) 31- 627- 20.2
  2. Brian Kozlowski (1994-2007) 29- 370- 12.8
  3. Pat Curran (1969-1978) 17- 219- 12.9
  4. Warren Bankston (1969-1978) 16- 253- 15.8
  5. Darnell Dinkins (2002-2008) 15- 160- 10.7
  6. Jim Obradovich (1975-1983) 14- 167- 11.9
  7. Gary Shirk (1976-1982) 14- 210- 15.0
  8. Brian Kinchen (1988-2003) 13- 161- 12.4
  9. Chris Baker (2002-2008) 12- 73- 6.1
  10. Kyle Brady (1995-2007) 12- 138- 11.5
  11. Bruce Hardy (1978-1989) 12- 156- 13.0
  12. Delanie Walker (2006-2008) 12- 262- 21.8

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

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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