The “do your job” mantra that was coined by Bill Parcells and co-opted by the Patriots has a missing word in the middle. (It begins with an F.)
Two more words are implied at the end: “Or else.”
The “or else” finally arrived in Minnesota for kicker Blair Walsh. Given that teams don’t have a backup kicker, the “or else” isn’t getting benched. It’s getting fired.
“It was something we felt like we needed to do, kind of move forward,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We’re all accountable for things we have to get done. I think we gave him a lot of opportunities. Although Blair’s a great kid and it’s hard to do, it’s just part of the business. . . . It just comes down to doing your job.”
Walsh wasn’t and couldn’t and thus no longer will be. But that hardly solves the problems of a team that has chased five straight wins with four straight losses. And the strain is showing.
“They asked me on the Arizona conference call how I keep the team mentally stable,” Zimmer said, via Tomasson. “Well, I have to worry about myself.”
Looking at the big picture of what the Vikings have endured in 2016, it’s amazing that the team finds itself at 5-4 through 10 weeks of the regular season. Even if they manage to finagle a playoff berth, it’s hard to envision the Vikings becoming the Super Bowl contender they were presumed to be before the losing started.