Less than 24 hours after the Vikings lost a heart-breaker to the Seahawks, kicker Blair Walsh was in the locker room with teammates this morning as they cleaned out their lockers then dispersed in different directions.
Walsh, who missed a 27-yard field-goal attempt in the final minute that would have likely given the Vikings a victory, vowed that when he returns to Winter Park next, he will be a better kicker than when he left.
“I knew that coming into this league, that you were going to be put in these pressure situations. If you want to succeed at this level you’re going to have to take those risks and embrace those situations,” Walsh said. “Yesterday, it just didn’t happen for me. [I'll] get over it. I’ll be more confident going into next year. I know that sounds crazy, but this will drive me to work even harder. I’m confident in my abilities. I know that I can continue to be elite at this level. Yesterday was tough but it’s part of the job.”
Walsh said his teammates have been very supportive after his missed kick put an end to their season when it could have sent them to Arizona.
“I think that speaks to them as individuals and as men,” Walsh said. “To come in here and support me, I think to an extent, I’ve earned that. I’ve come here and produced for this team. Yesterday was not what I wanted and it was a key moment. I have to make that kick. But I’ve made my fair of big kicks here in my career and I’ll continue to do that. But that doesn’t overshadow what I did yesterday. I need to do better.”
Walsh, who did kick three field goals in below-zero conditions yesterday, also appreciated the support he got from outside of Winter Park.
“There are some great kickers in this league that have said some nice things to me. I very much appreciate that. I know there have been some people on social media who have just been really kind to me and that’s huge,” said Walsh, who signed a four-year contract extension this summer. “I know the magnitude of yesterday’s situation. I’m not blind to what it meant to this team. But at the same time you have to be realistic and you have to be compassionate toward other people and I think I saw that yesterday.”