What we’re still trying to figure out: A cocky Seahawks kicker?

Aug 20, 2017, 9:59 AM | Updated: 10:38 am

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Blair Walsh pointed to the Vikings sideline after making a 52-yard field goal. (AP)


I don’t think I’m ready for a cocky kicker.

I say that as someone who believes adamantly in what former Seahawks defensive end Grant Wistrom told me back in 2005 when I was a newspaper reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (may it rest in peace) while researching a story on Josh Brown.

“Karma is never more evident than in a kicker’s life,” Wistrom said. “I think that shows up more there than out of any other demographic in society.”

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The evidence Wistrom cited was Washington’s kicker that season, John Hall, who had celebrated a fumble recovery in a playoff game against Seattle by doing a somersault in front of the Seahawks bench only to go out and miss the next big kick he attempted.

There are others. One of the Grammaticas (does it matter which one?) blew out his knee while celebrating a kick he made. And Mike Vanderjagt, better known as the Colts’ idiot kicker, went from criticizing his coach (Tony Dungy) and his quarterback (Peyton Manning) after a 2003 playoff loss to choking in a playoff loss to the Steelers two years later.

And after new Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh’s pair of gestures toward the Viking sidelines in Friday’s 20-13 preseason win, the list of three things we’re still trying to figure out starts with the question of potential karmic consequences of said gestures.

1. Does Seattle have a cocky kicker?

Seems like it’s a possibility. Walsh walked toward the Minnesota bench, pointing his finger after he made a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter. He again stepped toward the Vikings bench, appearing to point toward his own helmet, after making another 52-yarder later in the second half.

A couple of things are worth noting. First, Walsh said the gestures came in response to taunts he received earlier from his former teammates. Second, Walsh couldn’t have been more stand-up after missing what would have been the game-winning field goal in Minnesota’s wild-card playoff loss to the Seahawks two seasons ago. He stayed and answered every question about the kick he missed.

We can only hope Walsh’s accountability after that loss will offset the potential karmic ramifications of his celebrations toward the Vikings bench.

2. Is Rees Odhiambo really next in line at left tackle?

The fact that Luke Joeckel started at left guard on Friday was hardly surprising. The fact that he stayed there after George Fant went down with a season-ending knee injury, however, was.

After all, Joeckel was drafted as a left tackle, and while he was expected to be the left guard, he has practiced at left tackle throughout training camp. He got first-half repetitions at tackle in the preseason opener the week before, as well.

But when Fant went down, it was second-year lineman Rees Odhiambo who entered the game at left tackle with Joeckel staying put at guard. Maybe that will change this week in practice as Seattle lays out a more permanent plan to replace Fant this season, but it was interesting to note that Joeckel wasn’t the immediate alternative at that position.

3. Can Prosise stay on the field?

C.J. Prosise’s groin muscle tightened up while warming up for Friday’s game and he was unable to play in the preseason game. That means he is batting .500 when it comes to preseason availability, missing the team’s first two exhibition games last season because of an injury to his hamstring. He has also missed 10 regular-season games due to a pair of broken bones, first in his hand and then his shoulder blade.

At this point, his propensity for injury makes it impossible for the Seahawks to view him as a candidate to be anything more than a situational contributor to the offense.

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What we’re still trying to figure out: A cocky Seahawks kicker?