Blair Walsh remains as outwardly confident as ever four months after missing a potentially game-winning, 27-yard field goal in the first round of the 2015 playoffs.
More than four months after that missed kick, Walsh was open to what he hoped would be one final round of questions regarding the kick that drew jeers from Minnesota Vikings fans far and wide, and then a counteracting contingent of support.
“It’s part of my past; it’s not going to be my entire career,” Walsh said Wednesday. “I’ve had plenty of big kicks in this league and I’ll continue to have plenty of big kicks. Obviously that’s one that I didn’t do well and I didn’t do my job. It’s one of those things that you just have to move past and I already have. I’m excited for this year.”
The Vikings are in the first week of their organized team activities and Walsh was back on the field working on his craft. He went 5-for-5 during his only full session on Wednesday, splitting the uprights regularly between 30 and 40 yards out.
He said nothing has changed in his offseason regimen as prepares for his fifth NFL season. During the regular season, Walsh made 34 of 39 field goals, with his 87.2 percent the second-best of his career.
In the Vikings’ 10-9 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, he was 3-for-4, but that 27-yard attempt that went wide left with 22 seconds left will be remembered by Vikings fans long into the future, wondering what might have been if he had made it.
Although he has heard the criticism and complaints, he has also received support from others around the league.
“A lot of people reached out and just talked to me about what I was going through and it was helpful. It just shows you that a lot of people have your back and you can move on from it,” he said.
“Steve Hauschka (of the Seahawks), the guy I played against, reached out immediately. A couple of guys from around the league, like my good buddy Drew Butler from the Cardinals, just a lot of people that really cared about me. My common message to them was that it’s one moment and it won’t define me.”
That kick, however, was his only miss at TCF Bank Stadium during the 2015 regular season and playoffs. He was 14-for-14 there during the regular season.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/vikings/story/1672756-vidoe-zimmer-at-otas “When I really went back and looked on it, I felt like I had a really good year outside. We had made all the field goals up until the last one outside at TCF, which was big for me,” he said. “I really thought I kind of took a different approach to the elements last year and said that I was going to own the elements rather than try to get cute with them and for the most part it worked. I thought I had one of my better years as a pro. It was really unfortunate the way it ended. The nice thing is that it keeps you hungry, keeps you motivated – not that I’m not already – but it’s just a little added fuel to the fire.”
This year, the Vikings move into the enclosed U.S. Bank Stadium and he won’t have to deal with the elements as often as he did the past two seasons, when the Vikings were playing home games at the open-air TCF Bank Stadium while their new home was under construction.
He said the miss motivated him for the first month, but he remains consistent with his offseason routine now.
“I’m always a very hard worker. I think that’s one of the things that separates me in this league,” he said. “You combine the talent and the hard work and you can have success, and the way I looked at it is there was no reason to not work just as hard as any other offseason. I kept me routine the same and my work ethic is the same. I’m ready to go.”