Vikings did homework on Walsh

  • Updated: September 11, 2012 - 8:39 PM
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Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) celebrated after he kicked a 55-yard field goal to tie the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the final seconds of regulation Sunday. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars in overtime 26-23.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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The Live Chat is every Tuesday at noon. Read it in full at startribune.com/vikings.

Q Best bang for your buck so far out of the Vikes draft ... Blair Walsh? A I wish we had the media room footage from that Saturday afternoon in April when we all learned that the Vikings had taken a kicker in Round 6 with a roster that had so many huge holes. Especially a kicker who had really struggled on field goals as a senior. But the Vikings did their homework and have worked hard to polish Walsh's field goal kicking. To hit four big field goals after the third quarter ended is impressive. And that 55-yarder was pure. Really pure. Q Would you like to see more emotion from a coach? You look at how fired up Jon Gruden used to get and now Jim Harbaugh with the 49ers? Every time they show Leslie Frazier, his arms are crossed and he doesn't even talk. Doesn't emotion sometime fire a team up? A I had to laugh when watching the fourth quarter back at how subdued Frazier's reaction was on Walsh's 55-yard game-tying kick. Small fist pump. It was like he had just been told that the oil change on his car was finished. But leaders lead in different ways. The Grudens and Harbaughs and Rex Ryans and Mike Ditkas of the world were animated, screamers. Frazier is cut from the Tony Dungy cloth.

Q How many wide receiver screens can be run in a football game?

A So long as the opposing defense has no answers for it, keep running it, keep running it, keep running it. Percy Harvin is dynamic. And fearless. He had 74 yards after the catch on Sunday.

Q If Harvin has a real productive year do you see a hold out, new deal or another team picking him up?

A GM Rick Spielman has a philosophy: if you prove yourself, he'll reward you with an extension heading into the final year of your deal. He did that with Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway a year ago. If Percy keeps playing the way he did Sunday and the way he did the second half of last season, they'll have to open up the bank and pay the man. Crazy to think about it. But he's only 24.

Q Honestly, is Adrian Peterson human?

A Absolutely stunned at where he is physically right now. We'll see if fatigue starts creeping in at all in the next month. But I remember standing beside him in the locker room in Washington on Christmas Eve and seeing how absolutely crestfallen he was. To think that was less than nine months ago and he already seems like the Adrian of old is insane.

Q Jared Allen did not have one recorded sack on Sunday. How many sacks do you think he will have this season now?

A The beat up Colts O-line should give the Vikings plenty of opportunity for pressure. But man, Allen really spoiled people a year ago. The guy goes one game without a sack and suddenly folks are panicking. Deep breaths. Jared Allen is the least of the worries for the D.

Q Do you think rotating the defensive line will upset Allen more and more each game?

A There are a lot of things that might agitate Allen this season. He'll be touchy on the D-line rotation for sure. I also wonder if he has the right level of patience/tolerance to endure the growing pains of this young defense and this young team. I'm just not sure he's wired to be able to accept a third consecutive losing season. Which is coming.

Q I must say I am a little concerned with the youth on this team. More so when the Vikes go on the road to a hostile environment. Do you think they will hold their water?

A We'll find out. But this season is about building for the future. So as long as you can tolerate a few ups and downs with this young bunch, it should pay dividends up the road.

Q I don't think Chris Cook is going to pan out. I think he has a lot of physical tools but does not have it between the ears. I don't think he has done much since we got him other than get in trouble. What are your thoughts?

A Cook is part of a large group that I call the "We'll See Bunch." The guy has only played 13 games in his career. He is big. He is quick. He has the kind of tools the Vikings need in a CB in this division. So now he has a starting role, the organization's vote of confidence and a full season to show what he can be. Let's revisit this question in Week 7 or Week 8 when we have more to review.

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2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
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2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
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