In 2013, Marquette King led the NFL in gross punting average in his first season as the Raiders’ No. 1 punter.
King, who has one of the NFL’s most powerful legs, loved to power booming punts with long hang times. He averaged 48.9 yards and had a long of 66.
Yet King wasn’t satisfied. Going into 2014, he wanted to be even better – and he was.
Now, as the Raiders prepare to open training camp in late July, King is one of the few players on the roster who ranks among the league’s best.
Recently, he was ranked No. 9 among the league’s top 32 punters, and it could be argued that King, 26, should be even higher.
In 2013, he had two punts blocked. In 2014, he had none blocked. In 2013, he put 23 punts inside an opponent’s 20-yard line. In 2014, he had 31. He also reduced his touchbacks from 11 to 3. Last season, he set Raiders records for most punts (109) and yards (4,930).
He also had some very impressive games.
In a 24-13 win over the 49ers in December, he punted five times for a 42.2-yard net average, and just one was returned, with two landing inside San Francisco’s 20. In a 24-20 win over Kansas City in November he punted six times for a 40.8 net, had a 58-yarder, and put three kicks inside the 20.
Last season, Raiders special teams coach Bobby April called King “the best defensive weapon we have.”
Now, new special teams coach Brad Seely says King can be even better in 2015 and beyond.
“He wants to get better at his craft, so it’s been enjoyable coaching him, and he’s got a lot of raw talent,” Seely told a reporter recently.