The three missed field goals and one missed extra point from Blair Walsh on Saturday night didn’t factor into the Minnesota Vikings’ decision to release 12th-year veteran long snapper Cullen Loeffler, head coach Mike Zimmer said.
All of the snaps in Saturday night’s game between Loeffler and third-year veteran Kevin McDermott got placed on time for Walsh’s kicks in a rain-soak and wind-infested win over the Oakland Raiders.
“A couple of (Loeffler’s snaps) were high. There were about two of them on the two field goals were a little bit high, but they were manageable for sure,” Zimmer said. “Now, releasing Cullen Loeffler had nothing to do with what happened the other night. It’s a process of what happened during training camp this whole time.”
Loeffler had been battling McDermott throughout the offseason, training camp and preseason, but two long snappers in practices meant fewer snaps for both of them. The Vikings made the move to release Loeffler on Monday.
“Basically it was to get the timing down between the center, holder and the kicker and the punter,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer said Walsh looked like he rushed one of his kicks and said “they were good snaps the other night.”
However, McDermott proved to get the ball back to holder and punter Jeff Locke faster than Loeffler.
“He was faster with his snaps. He was more accurate with his snaps,” Zimmer said. “We charted every one.”
Despite all the misses in inclement weather Saturday, Zimmer said on Monday that he thinks “our special teams keeps improving.”