Marquette King finds way to motivate self

August, 26, 2014
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marquette King laid back in his locker, headphones on and his hands working his phone. He appeared worry free as the Oakland Raiders began their cut-week preparations.

This week is a much different reality for King than it was a year ago. He was entering the final week of an intense battle with veteran Chris Kluwe, who entered the Raiders' 2013 camp as the favorite to replace the great Shane Lechler who signed with Houston as a free agent.

King, a strong-legged, but green youngster, beat out Kluwe and had a solid rookie season as he averaged 48.9 yards a punt. This week, King reflected fondly on the tense, yet friendly competition with Kluwe. He doesn't have that same competition, but he still has plenty to motivate himself.

"I step out on the practice field every day, saying 'Find a way to become a better punter today' to myself," King said. "I also competing with 31 other punters. I want to be the best … So there is still competition every day."

King also said the Raiders special history of punting that features Ray Guy -- who this summer became the first full-time punter to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- and Lechler fuels him.

"They are my mentors," King said. "I work to try to be as good as they were."

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter



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