Rookie records, Minnesota Vikings' records, NFL records; kicker Blair Walsh's first season in the NFL was unlike any other.
The sixth-round pick quickly proved the best of a standout rookie crop of kickers last season and set several team and league records on his way to being named to the Pro Bowl. Now, Walsh and the Vikings are working to ensure his second season also avoids other typical circumstances.
In the offseason, Minnesota special teams coordinator Mike Priefer talked to Walsh about avoiding a sophomore slump. Priefer had examples from the past of kickers who had big seasons only to fizzle out often be out of the league. Walsh understood well, because he'd done some studying of his own.
"Blair's a pretty sharp kid and I think he thinks of these things ahead of time," Priefer said. "He knew beforehand some of the guys I brought up and said 'I know exactly what you're talking about coach. I know where you're coming from.' I think he's put that in strides and says 'Roger t...