Not hard spotting 'Pot Roast' Knighton

With power and football smarts, nose tackle Terrance Knighton doesn't require tricks when lining up over opposing centers. "That's what I think I'm the best at in this league."

The idea of special defensive packages and exotic looks captivates fans.

No matter the down-and-distance for the Redskins this season, anticipating where Terrance Knighton lines up won't require extensive football acumen.

"I'll probably say 95 percent of the time I'll be over the center. That's what I specialize in," one of the newest Redskins told BreakingBurgundy.com. "That's what I think I'm the best at in this league at doing. I'll just continue to do that to the best of my ability. It's a different playbook, a different system, but it always comes down to man on man."

The real hope is that the massive Knighton - only those who believe in the Tooth Fairy buy his listed weight of 331 pounds - ends up becoming so imposing that double teams are required. That would free up his fellow linemen and Washington's linebackers for those advantageous one-on-one opportunities.

But let's not bury the lead like Knighton burying opposing linemen. BB asked the man known as "Pot Roast" to explain why he believes he's the best of the best.

"I just think my football IQ, my awareness on the field," Knighton said following the team's final mini-camp practice. "I'm never out of position. Ninety-nine percent of the time if you run the ball up the middle it will be a zero-yard gain or a tackle for loss. I think I've built that respect throughout the league and I think coaches know that. That's the force I'm trying to bring to this team and force teams to try and pass the ball."

Knighton's presence upgrades Washington's nose tackle position. ProFootballFocus.com ranked the former Denver Bronco 12th among all interior linemen last season. They'll have this big man with Super Bowl experience for at least one season - and on a bargain deal at that.

When teams are in those obvious passing downs, run-stuffing linemen often head to the sideline. Knighton, who has only 12.5 sacks in six seasons, believes he can stay on the field regardless of the situation.

"They've been letting me play football. They haven't been limiting me to anything," Knighton said when asked about conversations with the coaching staff regarding his role. "I've been playing third down. Obviously playing on the base downs. I can affect the game in anyway. We've got a lot of guys who can rush the passer. I feel like I can do that well too."

The Redskins also added defensive ends Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean Francois this offseason after starting their overhaul by signing coveted free agent lineman Jason Hatcher last year. The play of this unit will dictate how Washington's defense performs this season. Knighton's track record includes an appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII.

"Just (being part of a) good rotation and doing whatever I can to help the team. Mostly leadership and just being a veteran (who) played on a Super Bowl team. Just doing what I can to help the team."

The outside linebacker sprinting from the quarterback's blindside on one play turns into an interior pass rush on another. There might be a blitzing nickelback on third down or eight defenders dropping into coverage. These schemes are designed to confuse the opposing offense. That some find the attempt at trickeration genius adds cool points.

Knighton lining up over center on nearly every play and backing up the best of the best talk will add a new and needed element for the defense. Considering his power plus the power of incentive provided from a one-year NFL contract, good bet that "Pot Roast" delivers.


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