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Ballhawk Desmond King Continuing to Make Big Plays
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A forced fumble and interception last week. A sack, tackle for loss, quarterback hit and pass defensed this week.
He may only have two preseason games on professional football under his belt, but rookie Desmond King is making plays.
“You see 36 making plays?” Korey Toomer said postgame. “He was all over the place!”
It’s hard to miss number 36 when he’s on the field. Through his on-field performance, he’s quickly making his presence known to opposing teams and football fanatics alike. While he’s relishing the opportunity to show the Chargers why they made the right move taking him in the draft, he remains humble.
“It’s just my job,” King said. “When it comes to any of that, I just go out there and do what I’m supposed to do each and every down and make the coaches happy. That’s my job to contribute to the team.”
King was a bright spot in Sunday’s 13-7 loss to the Saints,. His sack came on a timely 3rd-and-5, when Saints quarterback Chase Daniel was driving at their own 42 three plays after the Chargers turned the ball over on downs. As Daniel stepped back, King came around the right side to overpower a Saints blocker, converging on the QB for a loss of 11.
Throughout the game, King was a jack of all trades. He played three different positions consisting of safety, nickel and corner.
“You have to make the transition (to each of the positions) pretty quick. It’s a split second when you have to know what you have to do at that position. I feel like me learning the playbook is the most important thing. I’m in a pretty good position right now to play all three positions. That just shows the versatility; you’re more valuable when you’re out on the field. I just have to keep it up.”
King’s absorption of the playbook hasn’t gone unnoticed. Particularly from his head coach.
“He’s light years from where he was during rookie mini camp,” Head Coach Anthony Lynn mentioned. “Now that he knows what he is doing, he’s playing nickel, he’s playing safety. He has a versatility to go out and play corner in a pinch and he’s making plays on special teams.”
King echoed his coach’s sentiments. He explained how after rookie mini camp, he started focusing on his tasks for each position and learned a lot in a short amount of time. He does admit putting everything together on the field has made the transition go smoother.
“Once I started getting used to the system, (I got) comfortable,” King explained. “Just not overthinking things and getting overwhelmed with the situations. Just getting comfortable and believing in the system.”
Along with studying, King chalks his performances up to his teammates. He says the defensive backs do a great job learning from each other and feeding off one another. But with leaders like Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, King does whatever he can to pick their brains so they can impart their wisdom on him.
“In practice, you kind of want to focus on them. Those are guys who are going to do the right thing each and every play in practice. You’re kind of just getting words of advice or knowledge or wisdom from them because those are guys who have been in the league for a while now and are making plays.” Read