FOXBOROUGH – Punter David King might be the longest of shots to make the Patriots’ roster, but he arrives with an interesting story to tell.
The 28-year-old King, who played Australian Rules Football, began learning about the NFL in October of 2008. In an interview with reporters today at Gillette Stadium, he described himself as “a normal guy from Australia, a working-class guy” with the skill of being able to kick the football. He previously worked for a hardware company promoting products, while also serving as a personal trainer.
King, a right-footed punter, follows in the footsteps of fellow Australians Jy Bond (Giants) and Chris Bryan (Packers), who have signed with NFL teams this offseason.
King made it sound like his stay in New England might not be long-term, saying, “It’s a learning process for myself and hopefully over the next few weeks I can make a good impression and manage to stick around.”
Asked if he knows football, he said, “That’s something I’ll be learning over the next few weeks, I’d say. I don’t have a great deal of knowledge. I do like the game, I can tell you that much. We don’t get a great deal of it back home on TV. The last few years it’s been getting a lot more reception because of the Aussies playing in the league now. I’m here to learn. I’m just here to really kick a football and if I can show the guys I can do that, hopefully I can learn the rest that comes along with that.”
King’s story has some similarities to former Patriots kicker John Smith, who didn’t know about American football when he first joined the franchise. King played semi-pro ball for Bundoora (2001-2002), Euroa (2003-2007) and Norwood (2008)
King described his first meeting with Bill Belichick this way: "He is a great guy. I was surprised to see how easy he was to talk to. Coming from back home, this sport is like huge, so you don't get the opportunity to meet people of such stature."