Evidently Blair Walsh was on his way to figuring out what went wrong his senior year before Minnesota’s special teams coach got involved.
“Honestly I thought I was back once we started the workouts for the (NFL) Combine,” Walsh said. “I was able to figure out what was going on. I had a couple special teams coaches that I talk to tell me what they thought those flaws were. Once we felt the work at the combine and the workouts in Athens, I felt like I was back.”
That being said, Walsh has enough confidence in his coach to pay his way to the Pro Bowl this year.
One big question for the offseason is whether Richt can learn enough about special teams coaching to be there for his kickers in the tough times. Remember that Walsh suffered through a slump in his freshman year (you know whom I blame for that). He was tough enough to persevere and record two excellent seasons in his second and third years, but sagged badly in his senior season. And looking back, it seems like his coaching during the down periods was little more than “you’ll work through it, kid”.
Richt doesn’t need history repeating itself with Marshall Morgan, whose year was erratic enough to catch Walsh’s attention.
“When we’re training I’ll be able to talk to him, and just sort of go over his season with him. And just talk about it,” Walsh said. “I was there for him during the year, and he texted me a few times, and we talked about his games. He’s a good kicker, and I think he’ll have a good career.”
That’s nice, and maybe that could turn out to be enough. After all, Richt’s had his share of kickers who could self-correct quite nicely. But what if that’s not how Morgan’s built?