Roughly 19 months ago, kicker Blair Walsh helped the Seahawks get to the NFC divisional round. Indirectly.
This year, his efforts will have a more direct correlation to the team’s success, or otherwise.
Walsh signed early in the offseason with the Seahawks, getting a shot at redemption after a career disintegration that began when he shanked a chip shot that should have delivered a home playoff win for the Vikings under classic, old-school, throwback, ultra-cold, outdoor conditions in Minnesota. So far, the Seahawks are happy with what he’s done.
Beyond the gift he gave them in January 2016.
“He was looking for a new challenge, a new setup, which we were offering of course, as were other teams,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Wednesday. “He liked what was going on here. He has had great seasons. We are getting him at a time when he really has something to prove. He has been a tremendous worker for us, really diligent worker. He is a very good athlete, too. You can see he has soccer background in him and all that. He has a big leg though, too. We haven’t seen a ball pop up in the air like this in years, so. . . . We are really excited about what he’s bringing in and now it’s just about consistency. He has been on it for five or six straight days. He has hit everything, so he is doing good.”
Walsh excelling in Seattle would further explain the Vikings’ decision to stick with him through the struggles that plagued him in 2016. They gave him chance after chance before finally realizing that Walsh needed a full reset in order to get his career back on track.
And maybe he will, right up until he’s trying a potential game-winning field goal for Seattle, in a playoff game against the Vikings.