Some Good News About Greg Joseph

Mike Zimmer
Aug 29, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer walks on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The purple kicking competition seems mostly settled. The 27-year-old Greg Joseph will almost certainly be the Vikings kicker in Week 1. Of course, some preseason disaster could quickly change things, but Riley Patterson has been cut. As it stands, then, there is only one option.

This week, Vikings.com published an article praising Joseph’s practice: “Joseph, now the only kicker on the roster, was good from 33, 38 and 43 yards in team drills. He also hit a 38-yard field goal at the end of a 2-minute drill after Kirk Cousins led the offense to get in field goal range.” As the article goes on to explain, Joseph has done a nice job responding to adversity: “Joseph has now made 35 of 41 kicks (85.4 percent) in team drills since training camp began. He was 17 of 20 entering the Aug. 6 practice, but struggled that day with a 1-for-4 performance. Joseph has made his past 17 field goals since that shaky outing.”

Folks, we need a kicker who can respond well to adversity. Purple kickers commonly find themselves in tough spots, so we need someone who is steady.

In a recent article on the special teams, I suggested that Greg Joseph would be the Vikings’ kicker. What remains to be seen is if he can lead us to clutch wins when the games matter the most. The team’s emphasis on special teams won’t matter unless Joseph can step up under pressure.

For what it’s worth, one of my training camp/preseason predictions was that things would work out reasonably well at kicker. I like that Joseph’s spot on the team was far from secure throughout the offseason. True, Patterson failed to do very much in the competition, but at least Joseph knew he needed to be crisp. That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Vikings bring in someone for the practice squad. In our Covid world, we’re one positive test away from not having a viable kicking option on game day.

Against Denver, Joseph put both of his short field goals through the middle of the uprights. He looked confident. Next up is Indy on Saturday night.

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