Missed field goal in playoffs 'won't define' Vikings kicker Blair Walsh

ByBen Goessling via ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- On the second day of the Minnesota Vikings' organized team activities, Blair Walsh drilled all five field goals he attempted in the team's indoor practice facility. Speaking to reporters after the Wednesday session, Walsh said he has closed the door on the frigid miss that ended the Vikings' 2015 season.

Walsh, who pulled a 27-yard field goal wide left in the final seconds of the Vikings' 10-9 wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks, said he's not thinking about the miss on a daily basis anymore. He has a simple reply for those who bring up the kick to him.

"My common message is, it's one moment," Walsh said. "It won't define me."

Walsh, who hit 34 of his 39 regular-season field goal attempts in 2015, was the subject of national attention in the days following the game, both for the miss and the way he handled the aftermath. A first-grade class in Blaine, Minnesota, sent Walsh letters of support after the game; Walsh postponed his flight out of the Twin Cities so he could meet with the students and thank them in person for their kindness.

He will play in the first season of the four-year contract extension he signed last July, and will again kick indoors at home. The Vikings will move into U.S. Bank Stadium this fall after two years at TCF Bank Stadium, where the temperature was minus-6 at kickoff for the playoff loss to Seattle.

Though he said he thought 2015 was one of his best years, Walsh isn't pining for a return to the outdoors.

"I'm not going to lie to you and tell you it's easier to kick at TCF than it is inside," Walsh said. "You can take the elements out of it and focus on your form and your craft. You can forget about, 'Hey, man, it's minus-10 out today.' You get to go in there and act like it's a normal day outside."