In Mike Zimmer’s five seasons in Minnesota, the Vikings employed four kickers who made 80.6 percent of their field goals and 90.3 percent of their extra points.
The Vikings continue to search for an answer as Zimmer enters his sixth season.
“I think part of it is we allow them to — especially young guys — make some mistakes, make sure they understand we’re behind them,” Zimmer said. “I’ve also really been thinking hard about trying to get someone [to help the team’s kicker]. These golfers have swing coaches. Everybody’s got coaches now who do these things. So I’ve been thinking really, really hard about trying to find a true kickers coach, where that’s all he does.”
The Buccaneers have former NFL kicker Chris Boniol to work with their kicker, but few teams employ a true specialist coach.
Former NFL kicker Michael Husted is among the private kicking coaches.
“Most of them are former kickers you’re talking to or things like that,” Zimmer said. “We’ll just have to see if I can find the right one. Those guys have to fit in with the rest of the staff, too.”
The Vikings gave up on Daniel Carlson too soon after drafting him in the fifth round last year. He went 1-for-4 in two games with Minnesota in 2018 but finished the season going 16-of-17 in 10 games with Oakland.
Dan Bailey, who once was the NFL’s all-time most accurate kicker, finished up the season with the Vikings and was only 21-of-28 on field goals and 30-of-31 on extra points.
“Probably too much,” Zimmer said when asked how much he thinks about the kicking game. “You sit there, and you think about we missed a 27-yard field goal [by Blair Walsh] in Seattle in the  playoffs. Then, this happens. Then, you bring a guy in, and he misses an extra point. Then, maybe you’re a little bit more jumpy than maybe you should be, I think. It’s like everything else you might overreact.”