ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Marquette King has not lived up to the lofty expectations the Denver Broncos had of the athletic punter working at altitude, so now he’s got some competition.
The Broncos signed rookie punter Colby Wadman from UC Davis to their practice squad in hopes of snapping King out of his funk.
“Well, we’ve had him here in the mandatory minicamp, he’s been with Tom (McMahon, the Broncos’ special teams coordinator), and we have to get better there,” coach Vance Joseph said Wednesday. “So, we’re looking forward to Marquette having a good week of punting.
“It’s a performance-based business, so we’re trying to get better there.”
King averaged just a 39.3-yard net on seven punts in Denver’s 27-14 loss at Baltimore, where he failed three times to flip the field with booming punts that were his hallmark before his release from the Oakland Raiders in the offseason.
King hasn’t had the hang time the Broncos expected of him, something that will be imperative to improve on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“You want to hang the ball with Tyreek Hill,” Joseph said. “That’s going to be the key with this guy. He’s a dangerous returner. He doesn’t fair-catch the football. But I think hanging the ball high is going to be one of the keys to containing him. But again, it’s going to take our entire coverage team and we have to do a good job of keeping him from hurting us with punt returns.”
King signed a three-year, $7 million deal with the Broncos after Raiders coach Jon Gruden cut him in March. Afterward, the Broncos traded Riley Dixon, who averaged 45.7 yards in his two seasons in Denver with a net of 40.8 yards, to the New York Giants.
King ranks 22nd in the league with a 44.6-yard average and is 14th with a 41.6-yard net.
“He has to simply punt better,” Joseph said earlier in the week. “No different than our corners have to play better in coverage, and we’ve got to block better. He’s a football player and he’s got to do his job. He’s got to punt better.”
By ARNIE STAPLETON
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