Punter Marquette King
Marquette King has long fancied himself as more than just a punter; time and time again he's said that he is indeed an athlete.
King played wide receiver at Rutland High School in Macon, Ga., and whether it's his preference to not wear a red, non-contact jersey in practice like a majority of his colleagues around the NFL, or the plethora of dance moves that he keeps in his arsenal, No. 7 is undoubtedly not your run-of-the-mill punter.
And Sunday afternoon, he got to show the NFL world that raw, athletic ability.
Even the gutsiest of special teams coordinators probably wouldn't dial up a fake punt on 4th and 24 – and neither did Brad Seely – but with 3:42 left in the game, King found the ball in his hands, streaking down the right sideline, heading for the open field.
With a commanding 26-10 lead in hand, King trotted out to punt the ball back to Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense, but an errant snap instantly changed the course of what King originally thought to be a routine punt. The former wide receiver cleanly picked the ball up on a short hop – a feat that isn't getting the proper recognition it deserves – then quickly assessed the situation before deciding to tuck the ball down and make a run for it.
The Raiders punter made the first man miss, then he hit the corner and was gone, running down the sideline, eventually going out of bounds 27 yards later, supplying the Silver and Black a fresh set of downs.
"I just picked the ball up and started running," said King postgame. "After I passed the orange sticks, I got a little light-headed and realized I'm really running the ball right now. It's been since high school that I ran from the punting formation. I came in as a wide receiver for Fort Valley State and was really good at punting so they stuck with me."
The Raiders were able to take advantage of King's big run, punching the ball into the end zone four plays later, but even though the play eventually resulted in six points, No. 7 wasn't immune from some good-natured ribbing from his teammates.
"I told him [King] he's still not faster than me," quarterback Derek Carr quipped postgame. "I told him at best it was a 4.8, or 4.79, so those would both quality as slower. I'm just kidding. He did a great job. That was a big play, man. It's a team game, and the biggest play of the day came from our punter, and usually it's him putting it inside the five, this time it was on an explosive run. It was fun to watch."
Following King's punt, social media was aflutter for the self-proclaimed Kick Squad President, and for good reason too, not only was his run an impressive, athletic feat, it also helped the Raiders secure a big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I got a good kick out of it," added Carr. "Hopefully we don't have to put him in too many more situations like that."
Something tells me King might be wishing the opposite.