The punting competition in Oakland features nine-year veteran Chris Kluwe in one corner, and Marquette King, who has never played in a regular-season game, in the other. If Kluwe wants to win the job, he’d be wise not to give King any of the tips and tricks about punting the football that he’s learned through the years.
But Kluwe wrote in a guest column at TheMMQB.com that he did, in fact, help King. Kluwe noticed that King was making a fundamental mistake with the way he dropped the football, and so Kluwe pointed it out, and King’s punting has improved since fixing the mistake.
“Why did I help Marquette? Why did I knowingly lessen my own chances at winning the punting position for the Raiders? Why would I put his interests before my own? Because I was Marquette, eight years ago, and no one helped me,” Kluwe writes. “No one offered to take a little of that pressure off my shoulders, encourage me that I had what it took to make it in the NFL, showed me the little tips and tricks that can be the difference between playing under the lights on Sunday and watching wistfully from home.”
If King ends up beating Kluwe out, Kluwe may end up kicking himself. But at least he could take a little solace in knowing he helped a young player.