The Minnesota had a bit of a rough night on special teams last week versus the Seattle Seahawks. It was a night filled with bad punts, bad kicks, bad coverage and two missed field goals.
While some of that can be chalked up as the growing pains of young players in the preseason of the NFL, other parts were a little more concerning. Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson's two missed field goals fall into both categories.
After getting falling into the bad graces of the head coach last Friday as Zimmer said "if he's going to miss them, I'm going to go for two." Carlson continues to be the focal point of the coaching staff as they try to teach him through this moment.
Their words though, are not gentle.
First you have the quote above from Zimmer. Then today, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer comes out and says, "good kickers in the National Football League don't miss two in a row."
But it's still all a learning moment for the rookie.
"I think Daniel [Carlson] on his two misses, he probably tried a little too hard or tried to swing a little bit too hard," Priefer said bolstering the kickers confidence along the way. "He doesn't need to do that. His leg strength is as advertised."
Asked how Carlson reacted to his struggles in his first game after Forbath was released and he was named the starting kicker, Priefer had more sternly positive things to say.
"He's a pretty calm kid," Priefer said. "I like his demeanor, I like his composure. He knew what he did on the first one, yet he came back and did it again on the second one. That was obviously a concern."
And then there was the doozy of a quote, which in fairness sounds a lot more harsh when isolated as it was above. The full quote below doesn't lake the serious nature of the message, but also wraps it up with the pretty bow of a coach who's here to help.
"Good kickers in the National Football League don't miss two in a row," Priefer said sternly. "The good ones are going to miss one and then they're going to straighten it out and come back and make the next ten. That's what a good NFL kicker does and that's what he's got to figure out, I want to help him in that regard."
So the journey continues for a rookie kicker with a big leg. Can he right the ship? Can Priefer and the coaching staff help him climb this mountain to build confidence? And can they do it all in a couple practices and one final preseason game before the regular season starts?
Tune in Thursday to find out!