Patriots fans got interesting news this morning out of Foxboro as it was reported the team hosted 29-year-old defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, most recently of the Washington Redskins. I wrote about my interest in him as a potential fit a few weeks back. Pats fans probably remember “Pot Roast” best from his performance in the 2013 AFC Title game when he played for the Broncos, in which he consistently and frustratingly stymied the revamped Patriot running game, even getting involved in the pass rush, with a critical late game sack of TB12.
After losing Akiem Hicks to Chicago, Sealver Siliga to Seattle, and considering the injury history of Dominique Easley, not to mention missing out on Nick Fairley (hosted last week, signed with the Saints) it’s clear depth on the interior of the defensive line is a concern for Belichick the GM. Pot Roast would certainly help fill that perceived hole.
A physically imposing figure, Knighton stands at 6’3 and weighs over 350 pounds, making him an early down mold defensive lineman, similar to in-house options Alan Branch and last years’ first round pick Malcom Brown. Knighton would give Belichick and Patricia tons of flexibility up front for their hybrid defensive looks, as he can play nose in the 3-4, or play alongside one of the aforementioned big boys in a 4 man front.
In matchup specific gameplans, Knighton is a very nice chess piece to have, especially when in shape and motivated, with the former being an issue of his over the entirety of his career. The trickle down effect cannot be overlooked either as I’m sure linebackers Hightower, Collins, and to a lesser extent McClellin wouldn’t mind an extra offensive lineman being tied up while they’re flying around making plays all over the field.
Consider me all in on this one.
Update: Knighton tweeted at 10:25 this morning “Keep that word rotational out of anything about me.”
Well, either the big guy saw a few tweets he didn’t like, or in the meeting this morning Belichick made it perfectly clear his role would most likely be limited, and his ego is as big as his waist.
Time will tell.