The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Vikings News

September 13, 2012

Vikings get a kick out of rookie Blair Walsh

— Legend has it that Minnesota Vikings rookie kicker Blair Walsh made a 68-yard field goal in practice before the season started.

To hear Adrian Peterson tell the tale now, it was even longer.

"I've seen this guy make a 70-yard field goal during training camp," Peterson said.

After Walsh bailed the Vikings out so dramatically in his NFL debut last weekend against Jacksonville, Peterson can be forgiven for stretching the truth just a little bit. And if the former Georgia Bulldog keeps banging through 55-yarders at the end of regulation to tie games and drilling 38-yarders in overtime to win them, the fable of that big kick will probably only grow over time.

Playing a position that is often regarded with tolerance, if not disdain, by the rest of the team, Walsh has already earned himself a loyal fan in Peterson. The face of the franchise said he has been bragging to friends and family about Walsh's big leg. When the 55-yarder went through at the end of regulation on Sunday, Peterson immediately looked for an uncle sitting in the stands at the Metrodome.

"I'll find him when I get downstairs and say, 'I told you about that guy,'" Peterson said after the game. "He's good; he has a good leg."

Walsh is the only player to win his NFL debut by sending the game into overtime at the end of regulation and kicking a field goal in overtime, and is one of just three — along with Matt Bahr in 1979 and Todd Peterson in 1994 — to win his first NFL game with an overtime field goal.

So in his first professional week of work, Walsh has hit kicks that tied and won a game, been named NFC special teams player of the week, had Peterson brag about him and even had Vikings owner Zygi Wilf give him the tie off his neck.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Vikings News