Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 8/2/12
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MANKATO, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings pulled a surprise when they selected kicker Blair Walsh in the sixth round of April's draft.But Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman said after releasing veteran Ryan Longwell the move had been in consideration long before the draft, back to January when the team was conducting its evaluations after last season. And apparently the decision didn't originate with Spielman.Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said Thursday that he offered the suggestion of replacing Longwell, who ranks second among all kickers in team scoring and has the top field goal percentage in team history."I recommended we do what we did," Priefer said. "Rick and (coach Leslie Frazier), we were all on the same page. It was a tough deal because he's been a great kicker in this league for a long time. I just thought for the future of this team kickoff-wise and even field goal-wise, I thought it was the best move." It wasn't an easy thing to do for Priefer, who said the t...
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