New Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh says pointing was in response to taunts from Vikings
Football fans are used to high-energy, competitive personalities on the field, and the in-your-face style was on display for Seahawks fans during Friday’s 20-13 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings. Some of the most competitive moments, though, came from an unlikely source: kicker Blair Walsh.
After missing a 53-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter that hit the crossbar, Walsh sank back-to-back 52-yarders in the third quarter to stretch Seattle’s lead to 20-6. After the first field goal, former Viking Walsh turned and pointed a finger at the Minnesota sideline. After nailing his second attempt, cornerback Richard Sherman joined in.
A smiling Walsh said postgame the finger-pointing and staredown was in jest — a response to some taunting from the Vikings sideline.
“I don’t know their intent. It seemed playful,” Walsh said. “But they were just taunting me as I was going out to kick and I just made sure I let them know I didn’t want to be taunted. I assumed it was playful, and mine was, too, in nature.
“Won’t think about it past tonight, I can tell you that.”
Walsh added that there were former teammates he was excited to see again. As for the taunting, Seahawks fans shouldn’t expect it to become a habit.
“That’s not really my job. My job is to be seen, not heard, make kicks and be there for my team. I don’t know. I wasn’t wild about getting taunted. I don’t think it was anything malicious, but I let them know that you can’t really treat me like that.”
The fiery response is something head coach Pete Carroll, who preaches competiveness, spoke of postgame.
“(I’m) fired up for Blair,” Carroll said. “He had a good game, almost had a huge game if he would have made that one hit off the crossbar. They were giving him a hard time, and they were razzing him a bit and all that, so he was just having a little fun with it. He’s a really good competitor, I like his mentality, and I think we’re really fortunate to have him.”
Seattle signed Walsh, 27, to a one-year deal before Stephen Hauschka left in free agency. He may not be ready to embrace an in-your-face approach to placekicking but he’s adapted to what he describes as a fun and competitive atmosphere in Seattle.
“It’s awesome,” he said of being with Seattle. “The atmosphere they have here, as soon as you walk in the building you know why these guys have won so much. They love each other, they support each other, and it’s still the NFL, it’s cutthroat and you’ve got to do your job and produce, but when you’re in an environment like this it brings the best out of guys.
“And why you wouldn’t want to be a part of that, I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed every minute so far.”