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Young Kicker Walsh Meets Great Kicker Hanson This Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 27, 2012 – 4:54 pm

Viking Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer has had a great deal of success in his brief time working with rookie K Blair Walsh. Through three regular season games, Walsh is a perfect 7 of 7 on FG tries and his 15 touchbacks this year are already approaching the Vikings total (19) from all of last season.

Walsh has made routine kicks – he’s 3 of 3 from within 39 yards. Walsh has made long kicks – he’s the first kicker in franchise history to have a FG of 50+ yards in 3 consecutive games.  And Walsh has made clutch kicks – a 55-yarder to send the game into overtime and a 38-yarder to win the game in overtime against Jacksonville in Week 1.

Things are definitely looking up for Walsh in his young career. But how great can Walsh be? We don’t know, yet. The Vikings 6th-round kicker has only played in 3 games. But the Vikings opponent this week – the Detroit Lions – have a kicker on their roster whom Walsh should admire – Jason Hanson.

Priefer himself pointed this out, paying perhaps the highest compliment possible to a NFL player.

“Nothing he does any more surprises me,” Priefer said. “He’s kind of like a Hall of Fame-type guy to me. I know they haven’t had a lot of great teams in the past there. He’s been on a few good ones and obviously, lately, very good. But to me, he’s a Hall of Fame-type performer.”

Hanson, who turned 42 in June, is now in his 21st season and is the Lions all-time scoring leader with 2,053 points. He is only the sixth player in NFL history to connect on 400 career field goals and the eighth to make 600 PATs. With a 50-yarder vs. San Diego in December of 2011, Hanson became the first player in NFL history with 50 FGs of 50+ yards. He holds the NFL record for the most games played by one player with one team (310), and he is the first player in NFL history to play 300 games with one franchise.

The superlatives on Hanson could go on and on. Even so, Hanson managed to do something last week that even he, in 20+ NFL seasons, had only done 12 times before – he punted. Ben Graham, who was the Lions punter, was injured during last week’s game and was forced out of action. The Lions called on Hanson to fill in, and he stepped up to the challenge.

“He’s amazing,” Priefer said. “What an athlete, too. To come in and punt the ball like he did last week with those three punts. And I read somewhere he didn’t think they were good punts. I thought they were outstanding punts. They were high, short, really un-returnable, fair catch balls, and had one inside the 20.”

Vikings fans should be excited about their young kicker and the success he’s had through three games. And while it’s too early to start comparing him to all-time greats or even current solid professionals, it is exciting to see what Walsh is doing when you consider the kind contributions Hanson has given to the Lions over the course of two decades.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Young Kicker Walsh Meets Great Kicker Hanson This Week”

  1. By RichardA1 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    He’s going to ask him if there is special preparation for the Pro Bowl! Walsh has been Probowl quality!

  2. By vikingbob136 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I will take Walsh anyday. The kid has nerves of steel.Hanson will be in the retirement home soon

  3. By odark30 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    You actually understood what Priefer said in his last presser? He speaks so fast its like those old-school micro machines commercials from the early 90s. All joking aside, Priefer may need to take it easy on the caffeine, redbull, monster, five hour energy, cocaine, whatever he is into. Its actually pretty distracting hearing him take those huge gasps of breath between long paragraphs.

  4. By H.M.G. on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Walsh is king!

  5. By tomcat on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    i was so mad when the vikes “wasted” the draft pick on walsh. i ate my words the 1st game!

  6. By Eman on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    hey it said on my fantasy site that ponder had a limited practice and is questionable for sundays game. anyone know anything about that??

  7. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Wobschall, read your copy before posting please. What in the world:

    And while it’s too early to start comparing him to all-time greats or even current solid professionals, it is exciting to see what Walsh is doing when you consider the kind contributions Hanson has given to the Lions over the course of two decades.

  8. By H.M.G. on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    @Eman
    He seems to have a hurt neck.

  9. By H.M.G. on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Here is a link
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/27/christian-ponder-added-to-injury-report-with-neck-issue/

  10. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    It is just a decoy report.

  11. By Spencer on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Pretentious Titus.

  12. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sly Spencer

  13. By Spencer on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    You have such a ‘holier than thou’ kind of attitude.

  14. By vegasvike on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I was always taught to have two proof readers prior to print. And still miss stuff..

  15. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    consider the kind contributions Hanson has given to the Lions over the course of two decades.

    This is pretty bad though– is Hanson altruistic?

  16. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer, I cannot help it. Please forgive me, it’s just my nature.

  17. By BE SANE on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    It’s in my nature to be a P0mpous A$$!!
    HEY LOOK AT ME AND HOW SMART I AM!!
    COME ON EVERYBODY, LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

  18. By BE SANE on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I AM SO SMART!!! I AM SO SMART!!! I REALLY LOVE ME!!! I AM SO SMART!!!

  19. By BE SANE on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    What a freakin’ blowhard!!!

  20. By purple08 on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    nothing to read here,…moving on…

  21. By sandiamond on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Razorback WR #11 300+ yds last week

  22. By odark30 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    test

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