Like any good fan, Terrance Knighton follows his teams even when he's out of town.
In this space yesterday we touched on how Knighton grew up watching the Patriots and modeling himself after players like Vince Wilfork and Willie McGinest. But Knighton's New England-area fandom extends well beyond the Patriots. Growing up in Connecticut, he was a fan of the Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins as well, and his love for those teams continues to this day.
Patricularly when it comes to the Celtics, Knighton has been very open about his rooting interests. On Twitter, he often expresses his love for the team, and he told reporters on Wednesday that he's looking forward to seeing them in the postseason.
"I’m very excited about the Celtics," Knighton said. "I think when you’re born in Connecticut I think at birth you have a choice – either Yankees or Red Sox – and I chose to go with Boston. I’m a big Boston Celtics fan, Red Sox, Bruins, obviously Patriot fan growing up. I’m really excited about the Celtics right now, the playoff push. Hopefully when I get in town I can catch a few games. I’m very excited about it."
Here are a few more highlights from Knighton's introductory conference call with Patriots reporters:
* On why he felt the Patriots were a good fit for his skills: "I pride myself in playing many different styles and obviously the Patriots are known for having a lot of different looks on defense. I’m just going to come in and work as hard as I can and try to get acclimated to this system. I know it’s going to be a lot I have to learn, this being my fourth team, always got to come in and learn the playbook. I’ll just listen to the coaches and ask a lot of questions, and that’s what I usually do being the new guy. It’ll be a lot of different things and like I said, I’m just coming in open minded and ready to learn as much as I can."
* On making a positive impact on the Patriots locker room, something he was able to do in just one season with the Redskins: "Somebody like myself who's been a starter in this league for seven years and seen a lot of football, played a lot of football and played with a lot of great players, I just try to rub off on the young guys. The thing about me is I’m completely honest with guys. There has to be players in the locker room that reiterate what the coaches are saying in meetings, and you have to hold guys accountable. I’ve always been that type of guy my whole career, college, high school, just been a guy that’s always been about doing the right thing, and I’ll be that same exact person now. Once I’m around the coaches and hear the message from the team and what direction they want to go in, I’ll definitely be one of the guys to reiterate that in the locker room and help hold guys accountable."
* On potentially being considered a "rotational" player, which he took issue with on Twitter: "I pride myself in playing a lot of football. I don’t think any player in the NFL . . . I don’t think any player should label themselves as a rotational player and should look to start on a team and push to be a starter. It wasn’t a personal attack on anybody or any organization. It was just me having the utmost faith in myself, and that I’ll be in great shape, and be ready to play wherever the team needs me. But obviously I’ll definitely compete to be a starting player on this team and I’ll come in and work hard and prove that to be that.
* On joining a team so close to where he grew up: "It means a lot, not only to me but my family. Having family on the East Coast and being able to come to a lot of games this year. The first thought was just sign the contract but now the work starts. I’ll take it a day at a time. I’ll enjoy the grind and hopefully if I’m blessed enough to put on the Patriot jersey on Sunday then I’ll definitely probably have the most ticket requests out of anyone on the team so it’ll be fun."