Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/31/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. As he's become a very public advocate for gay marriage rights, Chris Kluwe has attracted a lot of attention for his political activism off the field this season.Now, Kluwe is starting to become a focus for his on-field performances, and not in the way he would like. Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings eighth-year punter, has struggled in 2012, especially in recent games as his public stances have become even higher profile. The team and coach Leslie Frazier have stood by their outspoken punter but did try out players at his position Tuesday, including reportedly bringing in former San Diego State punter Brian Stahovich."It's part of the job," Kluwe said. "If the team doesn't think you are performing up to standard, then they'll bring someone else in and do what they need to do. I am going to approach it the same way, go out and try to have the best game I can, hopefully I do."Frazier said the tryouts Tuesday were simply usual weekly protocol, part of developing a list of potential players to sign in case of injuries.. Frazier said the team has had linemen, punters and defensive backs in the past few days.With cornerback Chris Cook going on injured reserve, the decision to look at defensive backs was expected. Bringing in a punter, given Kluwe's struggles, was interesting. But Frazier said he has confidence Kluwe will be able to solve his problems."Chris is a pro," Frazier said. "He'll figure this out. Between (special teams coordinator) Mike Priefer and our staff, he'll come through it. He's been in this league a while now. He knows how to look at himself and look at tape and figure things out. I think Mike always does a great job with him. So, he'll get through this."Kluwe is averaging 43.8 yards per punt this season, ranking 24th in the league. He has a 39.9-yard net average. The overall numbers aren't far off his career averages (44.3 gross, 36.9 net), but the past two weeks have caused his usually standout averages to dip.Against Tampa Bay last week, he had six punts for a 37.8-yard gross average, including 20-yard punt early in the first quarter that led to the Buccaneers' first points in a 36-17 Vikings loss. Kluwe, who said he's rushing his kicks and hasn't been consistent with his drops, averaged just 40.0 yards per punt a week earlier against the Arizona Cardinals, but Minnesota at the time credited Kluwe for keeping the ball away from Arizona's explosive returner, Patrick Peterson. Kluwe's struggles have come at a time when he is doing many interviews and photo shoots, appearing in magazines, newspapers and on television.An frequent participant on Twitter, Kluwe is part of a band and is an avid video gamer in his spare time. Being active off the field is nothing unusual for Kluwe, but his recent uptick in commentary on political issues, especially when it comes to gay marriage rights, has made him a public figure.In September, a scathing letter he wrote in response to a Maryland politician gained him national attention. Two weeks ago, he offered several local politicians the chance to debate him live. After all his requests were denied, he debated an empty chair, instead having a dialogue with some of those politician's quotes.Kluwe denies the accusations that he's not focused properly on his job."I'd be more worried about someone who spent 24 hours a day thinking about solely one subject," he said. "It's not a sign of great mental health. When I am here at the facility, football is the only thing I am focusing on. That's what I am here for. And when I am away from the football facility, I have a life. I do other things."I don't think there is anything about not focusing or not being prepared because, as I said, I approach each week as if I am going to get cut if I don't perform well. That's how I have always played the game. So there's nothing different about that."Frazier doesn't believe focus is an issue for Kluwe."He's been able to do deal with so many things in his career," Frazier said. "He's able to focus in these situations and focus on the task at hand, and has been a very good punter, which he is. So, I don't think anything off the field is distracting him. He knows how to focus on his job, and we'll expect him to have a big game for us on Sunday."Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker