MINNEAPOLIS -- On Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings sent their specialists to TCF Bank Stadium for their customary middle-of-the-week workout on the field before a home game. The videotape of that workout gave special teams coordinator Mike Priefer some hope that kicker Blair Walsh is ready to snap out of his slump.
Confidence, Priefer said, is the key to Walsh actually doing it.
Walsh pushed a 44-yard field goal wide right on Monday against San Francisco, and on their next drive, the Vikings elected to go for it on fourth down rather than having Walsh try a kick from 49 yards out. Coach Mike Zimmer said on Tuesday that Walsh's struggles -- which include six missed field goals and a missed extra point in the preseason -- are "worrisome," but added the Vikings aren't considering bringing in any competition for Walsh, who signed a four-year contract extension at the beginning of training camp.
Walsh and punter Jeff Locke both take a cerebral approach to their jobs -- they have a chart of the wind patterns at TCF Bank Stadium and how they affect kicks at different times of the year -- but Priefer didn't think the analysis had led to a habit of overthinking.
"That’s the type of thing, we don’t look at every minute detail of every stat that we look at," Priefer said. "Are there tendencies and how can we correct the tendencies that aren’t going in our favor? The things that we’re doing well, we’re just going to continue to build on those, but we try not to overthink that stuff.
"He’s just got to go out there and swing his leg through and get his confidence back. He will be fine."