Carlson Confident After Winning Vikings Kicking Battle

Aug 20, 2018 | by Eric Smith, Vikings.com

EAGAN, Minn. — Daniel Carlson will be the Vikings kicker in Week 1 of the 2018 season.

The team essentially made a decision on its kicker battle Monday by releasing Kai Forbath, giving all indications the Carlson will be the main man this season.

The rookie is ready for the attention.

“I don’t think I’m going to change anything. I’m going to come to practice and compete against myself every day,” Carlson said. “I think now it’s good to kind of have a little assurance and confidence from the coaching staff and everybody with the Vikings organization, that they trust in me, and I’m going to go out every day and prove them right.

“You want to be on a winning team, and I came into a situation where, with what they did last season, I’m just going to take that and run with it – do my job one day at a time and hopefully be a part of that success,” Carlson added about embracing expectations. “As a kicker, I hope I get lots of extra points, and when we get some big field goals, I’ll be ready.”

The Vikings spent a fifth-round pick on Carlson, trading up to draft the Auburn product who hit 23 of 31 field goals in his senior season.

Carlson has been impressive so far in the preseason, making all five of his extra points and both field goal tries, including a 57-yard attempt in Denver.

“I think that’s a first step, and I’m going to take it one game at a time and one kick at a time,” Carlson said of his success so far. “Each game I’m hoping to get better and better and more comfortable in the NFL experience, but at the end of the day I’m going to take it every kick, whether it’s preseason or regular season, even in practice, take those serious and do my best to help this team in every situation.”

Carlson handled field goals and extra points in the preseason opener while Forbath was on kickoff duty. The pair switched for Saturday’s preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium, although Carlson did attempt an extra point.

And even though Forbath missed a 41-yard try against the Jaguars, Carlson said he expected the roster battle to go down to the wire.

“It came as bit of a surprise this morning,” Carlson said. “Obviously Kai’s given me a run for my money, and he’s had a lot of success here and elsewhere, so it was a great competition versus him and I was able to learn a few things from someone who has a lot more experience than I do in the NFL.

“I met with him after I had heard the news and obviously after he had heard the news, and we talked, and he was great about it,” Carlson said. “Wish him nothing but the best but excited to be sticking around here and get ready for the real work.”

Forbath, who had been with the Vikings since November of 2016, made 47 of his 53 career field goals with Minnesota. He was 45 on 53 extra points during that time.

Carlson praised the veteran for his guidance in helping the rookie transition to the NFL.

“There’s a lot of things, just the ins and outs of the NFL,” Carlson said of Forbath’s advice. “Being a kicker’s a different job for a lot of reasons, so he did a great job of giving me tips here and there.

“From experience of things he’s learned over the years, just on both sides. He’s been cut, he’s had other guys cut that he competed against,” Carlson added. “He did a great job of navigating me through this, and along the way, obviously, we were also able to talk a lot of football and just working on different technical things while we were also competing.”

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