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Blair Walsh: ‘That kick’s not going to define me’

Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings misses a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at TCFBank Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Seattle Seahawks defeat the Minnesota Vikings with a score of 10 to 9. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. – Blair Walsh has already helped the Seahawks win one game – and a playoff game, at that.

He’s hoping to do it many more times, but in less traumatic fashion.

The Seattle Seahawks’ new kicker sat down for an exclusive interview with Q13 FOX and discussed his shanked field goal in an NFC Wild Card game in January of last year. Walsh infamously missed a 27-yarder for the Minnesota Vikings with 26 seconds left in the game and the Seahawks leading, 10-9.

“It’s part of my career,” Walsh said. “It’s part of what I’ve done. It’s a very small part, and that’s how I like to treat it – that kick’s not going to define me.

“It’s not going to make or break what I’m going to do in the future for the Seahawks.”

Walsh’s career had been humming along nicely up until that missed field goal. The Georgia grad made 121 of 142 field-goal attempts through his first four seasons, and 141 of 146 extra points.

Last season, however, disaster struck. Walsh missed four field goals and four extra points in nine games, and the Vikings cut him after an extra-point miss against the Redskins in Week 10.

“There’s a lot of guys in this league who can kick footballs, and kick ‘em at a high level, but the guys who just separate themselves from just average to great are the guys who can do it consistently and do it all the time,” Walsh said. “For us, so much of the game is mental, and it’s being able to bounce back or even being able to put the good ones aside and focus on the next one.”

Walsh is replacing fan-favorite Steven Hauschka, who struggled in his own right last season. Hauschka missed four field goals and six extra points, signing with the Buffalo Bills after the Seahawks brought in Walsh.

Walsh said coping with pressure is a big part of the job.

“I think you sign up for this,” he said. “If you want to be a kicker in the National Football League, you have to take the scrutiny. It’s gonna come at some point – nobody’s had a perfect career, and nobody will. If you can’t handle the scrutiny, you shouldn’t be doing this.

“There’s a reason why we’re highly compensated and we get all these wonderful things and get to be part of a team. Being a kicker in the NFL’s a great job, but it comes with a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations. But you have to embrace them and enjoy it.”

Walsh and his new teammates kick off the preseason Sunday, with a 5:30 p.m. game at the San Diego Chargers that will be broadcast on the home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX.

“I’m here, and I’m bringing my talent and my abilities to this team, and I want them to get the best out of me and I want to give my best to them,” Walsh said. “That’s what this is all about. So, every day I walk on this field I’m motivated to do my best. And whether or not that kick had happened, that’s not gonna change who I am.

“I’ve always had that attitude, and that’s why I’m successful.”