ALAMEDA – Marquette King is the Raiders punter of the present and, most likely, the future.
The second-year pro earned the title with a solid preseason focused on consistency. He’s always had a Shane Lechler-like leg, with excellent hang time to boot.
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The devil was always in the details. King proudly fixed most of them.
The first step was getting the ball out quickly. King and long snapper Jon Condo worked on that during the offseason on soccer fields in Dublin, taking countless snaps and getting the punt away.
The other aspect was holding. King wasn’t good at it last season and had some issues during the preseason, but kicker Sebastian Janikowski signed off on King being kept.
King continues to work on it, even when he’s not at work.
“I set up in the kitchen and have my girlfriend fire snaps at me,” King said. “The goal is to be smooth with the transition. As long as your body is relaxed and you catch it clean, you’ll put it down well.”
With issues shored up, King was the obvious choice. He averaged 53.6 yards per punt, and an impressive 45.3-yard net average roughly eight yards better than Kluwe.
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“Marquette out-punted him,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “Marquette won the competition as the punter. We’ll continue to work with the holding situation. I think [Sebastian Janikowski] feels comfortable. The good thing is we’ve got a Hall-of-Fame-type kicker, an outstanding kicker, so I don’t really anticipate that being an issue.”
Jury out on Veldheer: The Raiders can place left tackle Jared Veldheer on injured reserve with a designation to return starting on Tuesday. Raiders coach Dennis Allen wouldn’t commit to doing so, although it’s highly likely that will happen in time.
If it does, Veldheer won’t be able to practice for six weeks and play for eight weeks after he’s placed on the list.
Maiava first off the bench: Kaluka Maiava will be used as a super sub. He’s scheduled to back up all three linebacker spots including the middle, which made Omar Gaither expendable. Maiava has played outside linebacker during his career, but Dennis Allen said he’s also been trained in the middle during the preseason.
Flynn back to work: Quarterback Matt Flynn was a full participant in practice on Monday after being held out due to elbow tendinitis. Terrelle Pryor ran the first team in his absence.
“I think (the rest) helped him,” Allen said. “Like I said before, I don’t anticipate that to be an issue.”
New injuries: S Usama Young (undeclared). Returning from injuries: QB Matt Flynn (elbow), WR Brice Butler (hamstring)
Still sidelined: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), LT Jared Veldheer (triceps), K Sebastian Janikowski (calf).
Injured reserve: RB Latavius Murray (ankle), LG Tony Bergstrom
Physically unable to perform list: LB Miles Burris (knee)
Quote of the day: “We’ve got a plan. Unless we start out in the wildcat, we’re going to have a quarterback out there on the first snap of game, so we’ll just leave it at that.” -- Raiders coach Dennis Allen, playing coy regarding his starting quarterback