April 28, 2012: For the first time in nine years, the Vikings draft a specialist. Georgia kicker Blair Walsh was chosen in the 6th round, 175th overall. Nine days later, Ryan Longwell disappeared.
How nervous were you for your very first NFL field goal?
I was more nervous for my first point-after
Umm, yeah. You know, the long field goal in the first game -- a lot of people asked me if I was really nervous and, honestly, at the point it was you just gotta give it a shot and see if it can get there. And it did.
You kick the extra point, but it's expected. If the game's on the line and there's no time left and you can win or lose this, it's all on you
How do you handle that kind of pressure? You gotta love it. You gotta embrace it to be successful at this level. You can't be afraid of that pressure. There's definitely times when you feel it and you definitely feel the magnitude of the situation you're in, but if you don't embrace it, it can only lead to bad things/ So why not embrace it?
Who was your idol growing up?
Adam Vinatieri was my idol as a kicker, so it was awesome playing against him the second week.
People always say you remember the ones you miss. You've only missed one. Do you still see that one? Does it frustrate you, or do you just blow it off?
You can't blow it off, but you gotta let it go. I sort of try to give myself a rule in game where I give myself 5 to 10 seconds to think about a kick, good or bad, and move on. If you get too high on yourself after you make a kick you can definitely have a letdown the next one. And if you get too down on yourself if you miss, it can have the opposite effect. I just think you've got to learn from your mistakes and move on
55 yards is your longest as a pro, correct?
Is it your longest ever?
56 in college.
Do you have this goal that you want to hit a certain distance before you retire?
To be honest with you I don't care. I'd be much more happy to say, hey he was an 88 percent kicker or 90 percent kicker and his long was 58. I don't care, I really don't.
How did you get into kicking for football?
Always a soccer player. Never even kicked a football until my sophomore year in high school --.first time ever. I started on the varsity team and got my first college letter spring of my sophomore year and I was like, hey I could possibly take this somewhere.
You don't mind the Blair Walsh Project jokes?
I've heard it enough, but I don't mind it.