Vikings kicker Blair Walsh on struggles: “You’ve got to make kicks”

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Blair Walsh does his job in short bursts, and he usually does it well.

But after a rough start which is one of the few flaws in the Vikings’ 4-0 start, the veteran kicker didn’t have too much to say.

According to Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Walsh answered eight questions with 10 clipped sentences in 59 seconds, which is about all the time you’d think anyone would want to discuss his struggles.

“Being in the NFL, you’ve got to make kicks,” Walsh said. “That’s part of your job.”

Asked how he was feeling, and Walsh replied: “Fine.” Asked if constantly being asked about misses was getting old, he said: “It’s, . . . whatever.”

Walsh has missed three field goals and two extra points this season, which is out of character for him. He hit 87.2 percent of his field goals last year, but his playoff miss was a haunting memory, and this year’s struggle has kept it at the front of minds.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer responded, “No, not yet,” when asked if they were bringing in kickers for tryouts, which is hardly an endorsement. Asked if he had any extra words of encouragement for his kicker, Zimmer replied: “No. I don’t talk to Eric Kendricks when he makes a bad play. We correct it and move on. That’s what we do here.”

Others were more generous.

“You can ask anyone in this locker room: We have the utmost faith in Blair,” punter Jeff Locke said. “We have no doubt that he’s going to get on a roll here and make every kick coming up. We have no doubts in this locker room.”

Maybe they have some doubts, as he’s missed at least one kick in three of their four games. So far, it hasn’t been costly, but he knows how precarious his position could be.

59 responses to “Vikings kicker Blair Walsh on struggles: “You’ve got to make kicks”

  1. “Being in the NFL, you’ve got to make kicks,” Walsh said. “That’s part of your job.”
    ——
    Part of your job? It’s your ONLY job!!!!

  2. He had the same problem his senior year at UGA. Best kicker coming in to the year and suddenly missed, what seemed like, everything. Then he got to the NFL and was amazing as a rookie. He goes through this and always seems to come out the other side OK.

  3. He’s got the yips. If I had my guess, they’ll keep him through the season, and next year, new kicker.

  4. The Vikings are on their bye week after this Sunday’s game with Houston. I predict they will bring in a new kicker during that time period to give him a full two weeks to assimilate and can Walsh.

  5. Love the kid, but he’s thinking too much. You can watch and see that he is a nervous nellie before every kick. You want a kicker that wants to be put into the game to win it, not one that would rather you go for it on 4th down. He’s like a golfer that duck hooks one into the woods on the first tee and every tee shot afterwards is a struggle. Hope he gets better because sooner or later they’ll need him to win a game with his leg.

  6. The second he missed against Seattle last year I looked right at my wife and said, “He can never be a Viking again…” and I wasn’t saying it out of anger or disdain towards him, I just thought that there is no way we can be in a playoff game in the future with him kicking for the win, and it will not cross his mind. Just like golf, when you are kicking a field goal, this process occurs in one area of your brain; when you are thinking about kicking the field goal, another part. Thus, when you are doing both, you are physiologically incapable of doing so with the same level of efficiency and automaticity. Now, I will say that the way he handled it couldn’t have been any better. I’m a big fan of Blair’s, and met him a bunch of times. He couldn’t be any nicer and more authentic; however, as a lifelong purple and gold fan who’s seen way too many bizarre ways to lose in catastrophic fashion, we all know how this ends.

  7. “..his playoff miss was a haunting memory…”

    Seems like this guy’s got the “yips” – could be a movie in the making… “The Blair Walsh Project”

    😉

  8. It is part of football basics. You have to make kicks. You have to make throws. You have to make catches. You have to make tackles. Your running back can not eat like a pig day and night.

  9. Hoo boy, are people going to have fun with those comments. Yeah, making kicks is what you get paid for, Blair.

    Walsh started slow last year as well, but end up working through it until his final attempt of the season.

    The real question is whether or not he’s gotten that final miss out of his head, and gone back to doing his job. Right now, Viking fans don’t like the answer to that question.

  10. Zimmer and staff keep preaching “do your job so the guy next to you can succeed”. Eventually the locker room will get sick of watching Blair fail. I really think Blair would benefit from a change of scenery. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him kick at an All-Pro level for a different team.

  11. Another example of a non-issue becoming an issue because of 24/7 in your face NFL. Let’s babble about a kicker on a 4-0 team because we gotta babble about something. Walsh will be fine. If it weren’t for him, the Vikings wouldn’t even have been in the game with Seattle. Maybe score 1 td in your 3 or 4 trips to the red zone? If we’re sitting in week 8 or 9 and Walsh has missed a kick a game up to that point, well then maybe it’s an issue but right now it’s completely meaningless. Walsh is a very good kicker and he’ll figure it out. Remember Mason Crosby? He’ll be fine people.

  12. He needs to take the advice from Aaron Rogers of a couple of years ago to the media: R-E-L-A-X.

    Plenty of power in his leg, plenty of talent, but it seems like kicking must be a lot like golf where Bobby Jones said that the game was played and a 4″ field between your ears.

  13. Wait a darn minute….how can this be, the Vikings don’t have the #1 kicker too? This has to be fixed, because to be the greatest team ever assembled, you probably need a decent kicker right?

  14. The misses are infuriating, but Walsh is a class act. He stood in front of the media and took all the blame shortly after the playoff loss. He didn’t hide, he didn’t blame the hold with the laces in, he just took all the blame and answered media questions. I really hope he gets it together and becomes the kicker he was during his rookie season.

    Zim is a terrific coach and I couldn’t be happier with the job he has done. In this case, perhaps he should change his approach. Just because Kendricks doesn’t need to be coddled a bit doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be helpful with Walsh. Every player is different and will respond to different approaches.

    I also don’t think Walsh needs to have other kickers brought in to light a fire under him. If they bring in other kickers to replace him then so be it, but I don’t think this is a case of a guy who doesn’t care about his job. He’s just struggling mentally. He knows what’s at stake already, so bringing in others as a threat seems pretty pointless.

  15. Walsh could make every kick for the rest of the season and it won’t matter until he’s kicking to win a playoff game again. That’s when the pressure will really be on and he’ll be thinking about that miss last year. If he can make that kick, he’ll be back to his old self.

  16. I love that his is still on the team with no competition even after he has missed kicks in 3 out of 4 games (so far).

  17. Hardly seems fair, after the guy scores all the team’s points in their otherwise mediocre playoffs loss to the Seahawks, that he should be struggling.

  18. it is amazing how so much of kicking is mental.

    wide left will always haunt him.

    steven gostkowski’s missed extra point in the AFCCG haunts him sadly, he missed another one this year, and two FG attempts.

    I am sure he is gone next year from the pats.

    and people spouting Robbie gould, he missed many FG’s last year which is why he is unemployed today.

  19. Vikings should just get a 3 month bye and the #1 seed after pummeling Osweiler. It’s a fore gone conclusion that this team stacked with weapons all over the field on offense and defense will be in the Super Bowl.

  20. Everyone knows he can kick.

    It’s his mind that is off.

    Put him through EMDR therapy, get his mind off the negative kicks and the Vikings will have their Kicker back.

  21. 4-0. That’s what matters.

    Oh, and Walsh is 8/11 for field goals. But one of his misses was like 60 yards long to end the half. No biggee. So I’ll say he is 8/10. 80%. Hardly a time to panic, just because you all remember he missed a short field goal in 120 degrees below zero last year.

  22. There will be plenty of times down the stretch this year when he needs to make a kick to take the lead or stretch it to two scores in a close game. And that’s before the playoffs. If he hits those, you go into the playoffs with him. If he misses, hope whatever stiff they replace him with doesn’t blow it. Pretty simple….

  23. Attending Sunday’s game was pretty funny: whenever Walsh kicked, about 25% of the crowd covered their eyes.

  24. An NFL kicker should never miss a kick under 50 yards unless there’s a bad snap or it gets blocked. These guys are the best in the world at what they do and have to prove it week in and week out. Many games are won or lost by the kicker. If Walsh can’t do the job anymore, then the Vikings will find someone who can do it better. Time is running out on him.

  25. “as a lifelong purple and gold fan who’s seen way too many bizarre ways to lose in catastrophic fashion, we all know how this ends”

    Reminds me of when the Eagles lost a playoff game by 5 points to the Packers a few years back, when kicker David Akers missed two field goals. In the post-game press conference, coach Andy Reid was asked the significance of those two missed field goals. His answer was: “We can all count”. Akers never played another game for the Eagles after that.

  26. This guy will be fine. When you listen to him, his attitude is not one of agreeable and mutual concern, it’s restrained annoyance…..from the the constant questioning. I think he’d like to kick a few reporters, and I don’t think he’d go wide left.

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