The punter who not long ago was dead man walking in Oakland is willing to make like an extra in The Walking Dead.
Former Raiders, now Broncos, punter Marquette King expressed a willingness to strip his personality from his on-field performances if that’s what it takes to keep his NFL gig. And he made it clear that he would have made those changes in order to placate new Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
“You can’t judge me by what you see on TV or social media, and sadly, a lot of people do that,” King told Jim Trotter of NFL Media. “If those things were an issue, just sit down and tell me. I can be a zombie if you want me to. But everybody knows what they sign up for when they get into professional sports. You know there are going to be ups and downs, and you’ve got to be able to handle them regardless of the situation, with professionalism and a positive attitude.”
But the Raiders didn’t do that, and King now has an axe to grind with the team that cut him loose without giving him a chance to adjust.
“It would have been different if I had a bad year, but I had a good year and I didn’t do anything wrong,” King said. “I didn’t break the law or do any domestic violence or hurt people or disrespect people. I’m looking forward to helping Denver, but I do have a huge chip on my shoulder. It’s going to be fun to play the Raiders twice a year.”
King was looking forward to having fun as a member of the Raiders, and he had a fun idea for breaking the ice with Gruden and new special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. For Gruden, King bought a box of Snickers. For Bisaccia, a bottle of limoncello.
“They always say Gruden gets intense, and Bisaccia is Italian, so I just tried to find things that would be perfect for them,” King told Trotter.
Little did King know that, like Tommy DeVito, he was showing up to get whacked.
And that’s that.