Powerful remarks about new Vikings kicker should excite Minnesota fans

Minnesota Vikings kicker Will Reichard
Minnesota Vikings kicker Will Reichard / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings have a checkered history at kicker and a few eyebrows were raised when Minnesota selected Will Reichard in the sixth round of last weekend’s NFL Draft. But Vikings first-round pick Dallas Turner believes that Minnesota got a player who could end their tortured past.

“We got a cold-blooded sniper. That’s that man, Will Reichard,” Turner said during an interview with KFAN’s Paul Allen on Monday. “Will has been my kicker ever since I’ve been in college, so that’s all I know. Will is definitely cold-blooded for certain and showed up every single time we needed him.”

Turner should know, as he spent three years as Reichard’s teammate and watched him become one of the greatest kickers in NCAA history during his time at Alabama.

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Reichard became the Football Bowl Subdivision’s all-time leading scorer with 547 career points and knocked down 84-of-100 field goals (84 percent) and 295-of-297 (99.3 percent) extra points over five seasons in Tuscaloosa. He also finished as Alabama’s career record holder with 10 career field goals over 50 yards and career PATs made but he also did it while playing in the SEC and playing under head coach Nick Saban.

“Kicking for coach [Nick] Saban, that’s not an easy chore, and he handled that,” Vikings college scout Steve Sabo told Mark Inabinett of AL.com.

In addition to Reichard’s performance on the field, he appears to be just as good of a teammate. Sabo said that the Vikings asked multiple Alabama players, including Turner and fourth-round pick Khyree Jackson (who attended Alabama for two seasons before transferring to Oregon for the 2023 season) their opinion of Reichard, and all gave glowing reviews.

“He’s not an isolated player where in some programs they’re isolated and maybe distant and maybe not necessarily connected to the team,” Sabo explained. “And I never got that from the sources that I talked with at Alabama, the sources our other scouts talked to at Alabama, and then [special teams coordinator Matt] Daniels interviewing him through his processes as well.”

While Reichard has the resume to succeed on the field and the support system off it, he’ll need to overcome the Vikings’ past. For every Vikings fan who mentions Gary Anderson or Blair Walsh’s failures, another will mention Daniel Carlson, who had a similar resume at Auburn but lasted just two regular season games before being cut early in the 2018 season.

The good news is that Kevin O’Connell and his coaching staff have been more lenient on kickers than Mike Zimmer was with Carlson, and with the team using a draft pick on Reichard, he figures to have a leg up on John Parker Romo, who signed with the Vikings earlier this year.

It remains to be seen whether Reichard will pan out, but it appears he has some notable voices in his corner as he begins his career.

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