His antics can drive some traditionalists wild, but we’ve got to admit the Oakland Raiders’ Marquette King has put the spotlight on punters. He celebrates a boot, mocked the Denver Broncos with a pony ride and even mocked the Michael Crabtree chain-pulling with Aqib Talib.
Around the NFL: Mark Schlereth joins FS1 as newest NFL analyst
What’s Trending: Chiefs hire Brett Veach, an Andy Reed favorite, as new GM
NFL Mount Rushmore: What are the greatest NFL uniforms of all-time
cover32 Debates: Julio Jones vs Rob Gronkowski; which receiver is more dominant
NFL Reaction: Is 40 the beginning of the decline for Tom Brady
This isn’t what’s expected from a punter. It’s not a position of particular glamour, in fact, many fans eye the returner more than the dude kicking. Viewed as a mundane task, traditionalist want the punters quickly off the field as they came on. King lives outside the box.
“Why should I not let my personality show? Why should I hold back who I am? That’s why I do the stuff that I do. That’s what I’ve been doing. So, why should I hold that back? It’s just part of who I am,” King told NFL.com.
Dubbed as the “dude that made punting fun”, the slinelight is squarely on King. His dancing and eccentric personality aside, the Raiders’ $2.4 million punter has room for improvement when it comes to his primary task. And Oakland’s entire special teams unit needs to help him do so.
Last season, 34 of King’s boots dropped inside the opponent’s 20-yard line to go along with nine touchbacks. He had a healthy 41.4 net average on punts (48.6 overall) and boomed a kick 72 yards. Impressive.
In comparison, Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker had 51 boots inside the 20 and an impressive one touchback in 17 more kicks (98). He had a whopping 46.0 net average (47.8 overall) and blasted a kick 78 yards. Returners called for the fair catch 40 times and the Rams special teamers only allowed 135 return yards. By the numbers, Hekker played better last year.
Granted, most of RaiderNation adores King. Yet, he must improve his accuracy.If he does, his critics will forget about his antics.