The Vikings kicker also doesn’t seem too concerned with needing to get his groove back after what was statistically the shakiest season of his career.
“I just wanted to get back to the way I was hitting the ball,” the 25-year-old said. “I actually thought that I kicked the ball pretty decently last year.”
After missing just seven field goals in his first two seasons with the Vikings, Walsh uncharacteristically misfired on nine of his 35 field-goal tries in 2014. A few of those misses were from beyond 50 yards and a couple of kicks got Mutombo-ed at the line of scrimmage. But Walsh’s 74.3 percent success rate on field goals ranked last among 31 qualifying NFL kickers.
He feels those stats are “a little misleading” but knows he must be better.
“The 39-yarder I missed in the Jets game and the 38-yarder I missed in Chicago, that’s unacceptable to me and I have to be better there,” he said. “But there’s no wholesale changes that need to be made this offseason.”
Walsh’s uneven performance a season ago was certainly surprising after he followed up his All-Pro rookie season with another strong campaign in 2013. But there is no reason for the Vikings to panic — and they aren’t.
Walsh, who was a sixth-round pick in 2012, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He says the Vikings and his agent, Brian Mackler, have had “a little bit of communication” about a contract extension this spring.
“I would love to stay a Viking. This is the team that drafted me and put that faith in me to be an NFL kicker,” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve had a Pro Bowl year here, I’ve had success and there’s been a lot of long attempts that we’ve made, so the numbers are going to have to be right for both of us. But when it comes down to it, I hope I can stay with the Vikings.”