Newly-signed Patriots defensive lineman Terrance Knighton made an impact in his one year with Washington, according to JP Finlay who covers the team for CSN. Finlay was a guest on Quick Slants the podcast with Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry.
“The defensive line group this last season seemed way closer than I’ve ever seen them in three years covering the team,” Finlay said. “And I think a lot of it kind of started with Knighton.”
Finlay recounted a story from last season when the defensive linemen had personalized Washington Nationals jerseys hanging in their lockers. He believed Knighton and Chris Baker, who was also a teammate of Knighton’s in high school, were the ring leaders of that gesture.
“It isn’t like an in-your-face, I’m here to kick butt and take names way of kind of becoming a leader,” Finlay said. “But it just is like team bonding more. I think once you kind of figure out new teammates, that stuff always goes over well. As long as you’re winning, people enjoy it.”
At the 18:22 mark of the podcast, Curran and Perry discuss the chemistry of the 2016 Patriots with new additions like Knighton.
Finlay shared his insight on Knighton — who’s nickname is Pot Roast — and what he can still bring on the football field.
“When he is right — when he’s healthy and fully engaged — he can be a dominant nose tackle. I mean, he can really control the line of scrimmage. And that can open things up for other guys on the defensive line,” Finlay said. “And we saw that watching him with the ‘Skins this year, at times.”
Knighton missed the 2015 game against New England with cluster headaches. The article discussed in the podcast can be found here.
“I wonder if that didn’t impact his play in the second half of the season. He was a much better player the first month, six weeks of the year than he was later in the year, and some of that may have just been fatigue over the course of the year,” Finlay said. “If you think of Pot Roast, he’s this massive, mountain of a dude and then he’s curled up in the fetal position from these headaches.”
“His talent is certainly worthwhile to try to go through these things,” Finlay said.
Listen to the interview at the 3:50 mark on the podcast player above. Or download the episode by searching CSNNE on iTunes.