You can call their legs a lot of things. Young. Promising. Big, but inexperienced. But whatever you do, don’t call Marshall Koehn and Taylor Symmank “camp legs.”
“Oh, no, no, no,” said Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, correcting a reporter who used the dismissive “CL” words to describe the aforementioned greenhorns. “There’s an open competition. Absolutely. Both kicker and punter. I’m not into camp legs. The other guys aren’t old enough for us to bring in camp legs.”
The other guys are 29-year-old kicker Kai Forbath and 27-year-old punter Ryan Quigley. Apparently, their job security was overinflated by the reporter who assumed that Koehn and Symmank — two 24-year-olds with nary a regular-season NFL game between them — were on the roster only to share training camp repetitions and give the Vikings two more legs to study in case things go kablooey, á la Blair Walsh, this fall.
“When you get up to [Adam] Vinatieri’s age  or [Sebastian] Janikowski’s age  or Shane Lechler’s age , then you bring in a camp leg for those guys,” Priefer said. “But here? It’s all about competition. Any of these guys can win these jobs.”
At punter, Quigley has a 44.6-yard average on 259 career punts in 51 regular-season games with the Jets (2013-15) and the Cardinals (2016). He averaged a career-low 41.6 yards while punting in only six games before being released by Arizona last fall. The Vikings signed him in March to replace Jeff Locke, who signed with Indianapolis after four inconsistent seasons in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, at kicker, Forbath was the calm after the storm last season. When Walsh’s confidence was shattered beyond repair — at least as a Viking — it was the journeyman Forbath who replaced him over the final seven games. He made all 15 field-goal attempts, but missed three of 14 PATs and was unimpressive on kickoffs.
Priefer also noted that Forbath didn’t exactly win the six-kicker tryout the Vikings held last Nov. 8, a week before cutting Walsh.
“Koehn probably had the best workout, but we were more comfortable with Kai because he was more consistent,” Priefer said. “But Koehn has a big leg. He’s got the stronger leg. This kid is coming on strong. It’s a great competition.”
Koehn’s NFL experience is limited to three preseason games with Miami last summer. He lost the job to Andrew Franks, a second-year pro who had made 16 of 21 field-goal attempts the year before.
“I thought [Koehn] won the job in Miami,” Priefer said. “He made every kick and kicked off better than the other guy.”
When the season ended, the Vikings quickly signed Koehn and began the grooming process.
“My thing has always been, ‘Big leg, but can he dial it in?’ ” Koehn said. “Working with the coaches here, my ball rotation is getting better.”
Koehn always has been a late bloomer. He’s 6-foot, 200 pounds now, but nine years ago, he was a 5-9, 120-pound sophomore at Solon High School in Iowa.
“My high school won four state football titles when I was there,” Koehn said. “My sophomore year, they called me up to kick field goals and kick off.”
Koehn kept kicking while notching two touchdowns at receiver and seven interceptions at cornerback over the next two years. He also won two state titles in baseball, played soccer and wrestled.
Koehn walked on at Iowa and waited three years for his opportunity. In 2014, he made 12 of 16 field-goal attempts. A year later, he made 16 of 20 attempts, including a last-second 57-yarder to beat Pitt, but also missed six of 53 PATs.
“Koehn and Symmank are making this a good competition,” Priefer said. “The preseason, obviously, is really the telling sign as to whether a guy can handle it or not. Quigley and Kai have been there before, so we know they should be able to handle it. The other guys, we’ll see.”
So stay open-minded. And don’t you dare call those other guys “camp legs.”