EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - At a season-ending press conference on Tuesday, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer spent time praising his young quarterback and defending Blair Walsh after that devastating missed kick to end Sunday’s NFC wild card game, and the Vikings' year.
“I talked to him in front of the team,” Zimmer said about Walsh, who missed a 27-yard kick to cost the Vikings a 10-9 loss against the Seattle Seahawks. “I think our team handled it remarkably well the way the things they said.”
Watch Zimmer's full press conference here.
“I know people are giving me a hard time about saying he needed to make that kick, but if it would had been Kyle Rudolph in the end zone, I would have said he need to make that catch, or if it would have been Xavier Rhodes, you need to knock that ball down. That’s my expectations, going back to that, I expect our guys to perform all the time,” Zimmer added.
Zimmer reminded reporters it wasn’t Walsh on the field “when we didn’t cover the guy when [Russell] Wilson ran it and threw it down to the 1-yard line. He wasn’t on the field when we fumbled. There was a lot of other situations throughout the course of the ball game. One play does not win or lose.”
Walsh made an NFL-high 34 field goals on the season and missed five attempts.
As for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, he’ll stay, but they're always looking to add quarterbacks to the club.
“Teddy is our quarterback, he’s going to be our quarterback, there’s no doubt about that going forward,” he said. “Everything about Teddy, I love. There’s not one thing I don’t love about this kid. He’s got the right demeanor, the right heart, the right competitiveness and he’s a worker, he makes quick decisions, so we need to continue to move forward with him and keep going.”
After the Vikings' lackluster offensive line performance, the team has decided not to renew coach Jeff Davidson's contract. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner is expected to stick with the team.