The Atlanta Falcons signed kicker Blair Walsh on Saturday, and here’s how his practice went on Tuesday:
Blair Walsh just shankef 4 field goals at #Falcons practice.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) August 27, 2019
Walsh also made five kicks in practice, making him over 50%! Head coach Dan Quinn was not too worried about Walsh’s stats on Tuesday:
“I’d be careful looking into that,” Quinn said after practice. “That’s a dangerous subject to go through because yesterday we had some and today. I’ll go back and look through, but I would say be careful at looking at one thing from practice. We don’t usually give out stats. That’s a dangerous subject.”
But he also wasn’t thrilled:
“I don’t think he hit it as well today, that’s for sure.”
Walsh last kicked in an NFL game for the Seahawks, going 21-of-29 in 2017. His final game was a 1-for-2 game against the Cardinals in which he missed a 48-yarder that would have given Seattle the lead and most likely sent them to 10-6. Out of the playoffs perhaps, but it’s the only time in Russell Wilson’s career that the Seahawks failed to win at least 10 games.
Walsh also missed three kicks in a three-point loss to Washington and a 52-yard attempt that would have sent Seattle to overtime against Quinn and Atlanta. Walsh also missed his first extra point try that season, but went 37-of-37 afterwards.
The Falcons are in a bind with Giorgio Tavecchio, the kicker they signed to replace Matt Bryant last season, who went 8-of-8 on tries, including 2-of-2 from 50+. Tavecchio has looked awful in the preseason and training camp, leading to the desperation signing of Walsh.
Bryant, 44, remains a free agent. There’s thought a team could sign him after Week 1, when veteran contracts are non-guaranteed.
There have been times in Walsh’s career when he’s been good, but they almost all exist in his rookie season of 2012. Since then, he’s been a poor bet to make a kick beyond 50 and is only 75% on kicks from 40-49. He’s 45-of-53 on kicks from 30-39.
The Seahawks signed Jason Myers in the offseason, paying him $2.5 million against the cap in 2019, ranking just 15th overall. But Myers has looked solid in August and the team isn’t making desperation moves at kicker at the moment. The team might have had the opportunity to retain Myers last season but with Sebastian Janikowski instead, but better late than Walsh.