In the 2014 Edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the word domination is listed as a noun that means: “to be much more powerful or successful than others in a game, competition, etc.” In the case of Saints 3rd year DE Tyrunn Walker at St. Louis this past Friday night, it likely still doesn’t do justice to accurately describe the complete control that he had over the Rams’ offense almost as a whole. He flat out OVERWHELMED their offensive line, on his way to what likely so far is the “breakout” performance of his career. In fact, it was so impressive that I’ve decided that Walker needs a nickname like some of his more famous Saints defensive teammates in the world of sports media and marketing. So from this point on, I’ll refer to the Louisiana native by way of New Iberia as “The Domination Sensation”.
Tyrunn Walker had 6 tackles and a sack, with three of those tackles for loss in the Rams’ backfield. He was “on fire” this past Friday night; and even though he was facing a Rams offense comprised of mostly the 2nd and 3rd stringers, he still managed to be nearly dominant. Walker was equally effective rushing the passer and stopping the run; showing why that this year’s Saints team is solid and deep on the defensive line (and as a unit). The Saints literally dominated the trenches for the entire 60 minutes of the contest, and it was Walker who was leading the charge — as the Saints pulled out a thrilling (for a pre-season game) 26-24 victory over the Rams in the Edward Jones Dome.
— ⚡SonicBoom⚡ (@WhoDat_225) August 9, 2014
Walker was most actually the most dominant during back-to-back plays on a critical St. Louis drive in the third quarter. Facing a third-and-1 play with the Rams driving at the Saints’ 26, Walker stuffed running back Rams dynamic rookie RB Tre Mason (from Auburn) for no gain. One play later, Mason darted to the right instead of left on fourth-and-1, and the 6’3, 294 lb. Walker was there again waiting for him, stuffing him for a loss of another yard and subsequently giving the ball back to the Saints’ offense.
Great game last night fellas #WhoDat
— Tyrunn Walker (@twalker337) August 9, 2014
In a post-game interview, fellow defensive end Glenn Foster, himself a “breakout” performer on the Saints’ defensive line from last season (who also had two tackles and a sack for a six-yard loss Friday), said this about the defensive line (particularly himself and Walker’s) performance: “We have a talented defensive front at every position,” Foster said. “This is my second year playing with Tyrunn and we know how to play with each other. We’re supposed to dominate.”
Glenn Foster and Tyrunn Walker have to stay healthy. They can contribute, significantly.
— Allen Keller (@AllenK_81) August 9, 2014
The most improved DL. from 2013… Tyrunn Walker in the middle. He has had a good camp and for a big guy, he can run & push the pocket.
— Michael Detillier (@MikeDetillier) August 9, 2014
1st and 10 for #Rams, Tyrunn Walker BLOWS up the line for -2 yards. Really impressive today.
— Deuce Windham (@RevDeuceWindham) August 9, 2014
Saints and NFL analyst Walter “Deuce” Windham, with whom I serve as a co-host for his weekly radio program and who is a regular contributor to my articles here at Who Dat Dish, had this to say about Walker’s performance against the Rams: “When Walker was in the game, he was a force that found its way into the backfield regularly. Not only did he get into the backfield in back to back plays, but he also began to face more double teams once the Rams quickly realized that he was the “real deal”. By doing so, it allowed other players get to the QB (Glenn Foster’s sack came on a Walker double team). Tyruun definitely left a lot of positive impressions last night; and he reminds many, and that includes myself — of a smaller version of Akiem Hicks.”
Considering that Hicks, also in his 3rd year this season, is potentially a star himself on the defensive line along with last year’s breakout candidate Foster (from Nebraska) and All-Pro Cam Jordan, the future certainly is looking bright for Walker — the former Westgate High School Tiger out of New Iberia, which is about 30 miles southeast outside of Lafayette. Friday night’s performance likely has secured Walker a spot as one of the key contributors for the defensive line this coming season; as he attempts to take that “next step” that both Hicks and Foster have done just recently ahead of him.Walker knows that if he wants to be a part of the Saints’ future plans in the years ahead, then 2014 will be a crucial juncture of his promising career.
Walker was a standout athlete (he also was a basketball star) at Westgate High School in New Iberia; and eventually played college football at Jones County Junior College (at Ellsville in south central Mississippi) before transferring and ending up at the University of Tulsa for his Junior season. Walker would go on to become a star for the Golden Hurricane, as he started in all 26 of his games while totaling 84 tackles, 25.5 stops for a loss, 13 1/2 sacks (including this one right below of future Saints teamate, QB Ryan Griffin of Tulane), four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
He went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the Saints signed him as a UDFA in late April of that year. Despite all odds, Walker had a sensational 2012 pre-season, earning himself a spot on the roster (though he was inactive for the entire year). Last season, he saw limited action as a back-up in a total of seven games, earning credit for 9 tackles to go along with a sack against Arizona. Walker has looked good so far at Training Camp in West Virginia, but Friday night’s performance certainly served to increase Walker’s value to a Saints defensive unit looking to become one of the League’s very best in 2014. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has raved about Walker’s progress since he took over last year, and his confidence in the young man was no doubt rewarded against the Rams.
There’s no doubt in my mind that after seeing that performance Friday night, that GREAT things lie ahead in the future for young Mr. Walker. That’s very good news for the Saints and the Who Dat Nation, and some bad news for upcoming opponents who will have to square off across the line from him. It will become part of what is a very bright future ahead, for “The Domination Sensation”……