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Combine Memories: Blair Walsh

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 21, 2013 – 11:50 am

No, we haven’t yet seen a blistering-fast 40-yard dash time from a cornerback or receiver. We haven’t witnessed a defensive lineman or offensive lineman put up a herculean effort in the bench press. And no quarterbacks or middle linebackers have yet to craft a perfect Wonderlic score. But it’s only because  they haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.

Before much of that can occur, it’ll be the place kickers who take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for their on-field work. That will take place on Friday. While it may not be as interesting to pay attention to the on-field performances of the place kickers, it’s still an important part of the Combine process. Look no further than your very own Vikings for an illustration of that point. It was after an impressive Combine showing and then a pre-draft visit from Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer that put Blair Walsh on the Vikings map a year ago.

“Tremendous kickoff leg,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman quickly said when asked to reflect on Walsh’s Combine performance last year. “And then Mike Priefer seeing some technical flaws that he had and then when we went down and worked him out in Athens (GA), how quickly he adapted to some of the stuff that Mike adjusted with him.”

The Vikings were rewarded for doing their due diligence on a kicker before, during and after the Combine. Eventually the Vikings tabbed Walsh with a 6th-round choice and he went on to have a Pro Bowl rookie season, converting 35 of 38 FG tries and hitting 10 of 10 attempts from 50+ yards along the way. He also set a team record for touchbacks and he finished the regular season with 141 points, the second-highest scoring season in team history.


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What To Watch For: Thursday Combine Action

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 21, 2013 – 8:38 am

The 2013 Scouting Combine officially began on Wednesday, but for practical purposes the action really begins today (Thursday). Here’s a quick rundown of a few things to watch for today at the Combine…

Players
– Offensive linemen, place kickers, special teams players and tight ends enter Day 2 of the Combine schedule. They will go through the process of Measurements, Medical Examinations, Media Obligations, and Team Interviews.
— Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are in Day 1 of the Combine schedule. Today they’ll arrive in Indianapolis (if they didn’t do so on Wednesday evening) and go through Registration, Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays, Orientation, and Team Interviews.

Vikings Personnel
– GM Rick Spielman will head to the media center around 10:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. CT). He’ll swing by the KFAN broadcast booth to chat with Voice of the Vikings Radio Network Paul Allen during his radio show. PA will be joined by Charch on Thursday and Friday as they do shows from radio row inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
— Spielman will also have his press conference here at the Combine and will appear at the podium at approximately 12:15 p.m. local time (11:15 a.m. CT).
— I will also join PA and Charch on-air today – once at 9:20ish and then again later in the show.

Combine Coverage
– You won’t see wall-to-wall daily Combine coverage on NFL Network until Saturday most likely, but you will see that type of coverage right here on vikings.com. So be sure to check back with us regularly to catch interviews of players, our coaches and personnel executives, yours truly, PA and Charch, and several other well-known national NFL media members.
— Be sure to follow us on Twitter for even more updates. You can follow the Vikings (@Vikings) and me (@wobby) for those updates.


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