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Marquette King: ‘Broncos encourage you to be yourself’

Being able to be himself played a big role in Marquette King’s decision to sign with the Denver Broncos.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

When news broke that the Denver Broncos signed punter Marquette King to a 3-year deal the reactions were a mixed bag, but mostly due to King’s flare for dramatics on the football field.

His production on the football field was the real reason why Denver was interested, but it is Denver’s ability to let players be themselves that really enticed King. Especially after Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders cut him over what was called “personality” conflicts.

“Not at all,” King said when asked if his celebrations led to his release. “The cool thing about the Broncos is the people that work at the Broncos encourage you to be yourself. That is real cool. Players play a lot better when they can let their hair down and be themselves. It’s cool. They encourage it. But no, I don’t think that’s what the reason was. Everybody has their own way of doing things. Maybe that is how they felt they wanted to do things. More power to them.”

This is an under reported reality in today’s NFL. Coaching a millennial in today’s NFL is a lot different than Gruden’s era. Letting guys do their thing as long as they do their job is a trait a lot of teams do not appreciate. The Broncos know better. They built a championship defense and a Super Bowl title off letting guys be themselves out there.

Whether its an occasional eye poke or chain theft, or an untimely personal foul from Malik Jackson, the Broncos from the top down have just sort of let it be. Just let those strong personalities be expressed for all to see, with little repercussions.

Clearly Gruden has no desire to deal with that kind of disturbance. He cut King without even speaking to him.

“I never got a chance to talk to him,” King said of Gruden. “I just saw him on car commercials and stuff (laughing). I get to see him two times a year.”

Twice a year. A talented player - even a punter - with a chip on their shoulder is a valuable mentality to have on your football team. You want 53 guys with chips on their shoulders, so thank you Gruden for this one!

Up until today, Broncos fans universally disliked King. His taunting ways and his annoyingly well-placed punts did not win many friends in Denver, but as one Facebook user put it: “let’s be honest we hated him because he was good and kind of a dickhead, but now he’s going be our dickhead.”

And fortunately, he’s going to find a new taunt to use when celebrating.

“Now it’s time to find a new celebration because that was one when I was trying to troll y’all (laughing),” King said of his riding the Bronco celebration. “Now I’ve got to find something else. It’s definitely going to be a nice little dance. We’ll figure something out.”

One issue that many bring up in regards to King is penalties. Nothing frustrates a fanbase more than a special teams penalty, because those tend to lead to points for the other team via extended drives and better field position.

King made a good point that the penalty issue is an old issue that he still carries the black mark for.

“I’m still going to have fun,” Kind said when asked if he would limit celebrations to avoid penalties. “I’m still going to dance and still celebrate. I’m going to be me. Nothing is going to stop me from being me. The flags—I got three flags two years ago and one flag last year—it’s in the past. I’m just looking forward to doing my thing and making sure I’m working on my composure and doing the right things to making sure the team is in the best situation possible.”

One penalty a year? As long as it’s to taunt Jon Gruden, I could live with one penalty a year. Welcome to Denver, Marquette!