The Catastrophe of Carlson
As soon as he was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the pressure was on Daniel Carlson to cure all of the Vikings’ recent kicking woes.
It didn’t take long for Carlson to get on Mike Zimmer’s nerves. It almost felt like Zimmer kept having flashbacks of Blair Walsh’s miss in the 2015 playoffs every time Carlson would line up for a kick.
Perfection seemed to be the expectation for Minnesota’s rookie kicker in 2018 and anything less wasn’t acceptable to the team’s head coach. Following a preseason game (a preseason game!) in which Carlson missed two field tries, Zimmer told reporters that if the rookie, “is going to miss (field goal attempts), I’m going to go for two.”
Well, these comments were really the beginning of the end for Carlson’s tenure with the Vikings. He only managed to appear in two games for Minnesota last season after missing three field goal tries in the team’s Week 2 tie to the Green Bay Packers, including two in overtime.
One day later, the Vikings decided to cut Carlson and sign free agent kicker Dan Bailey. After the move, Zimmer said that releasing the rookie just two games into their 2018 season was a, “pretty easy,” choice to make.
Zimmer’s Fault?: He definitely played a big part in the rookie’s struggles.