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Terrance Knighton Conference Call Transcript 4/6

Patriots defensive tackle Terrance Knighton addresses the media during his conference call on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.


Q: Why do you think the Patriots scheme and their defensive front will be such a good fit for you?

TK: 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.

Q: What have been your impressions of the Patriots defense along the defensive line in your time playing against the team?

TK: Being on the other side of the ball, the other side of the field, just watching them they try to take away your best players and things like that. They just do a good job of playing team ball. I'm going to come in and be like I said, open minded and be a team player and just do my job and do my role and just learn as much as I can from a great coaching staff.

Q: Did you feel your weight was an issue for you last year and do you have a goal weight in mind for this year?

TK: Last year I was obviously heavier than I am right now. I'm in a lot better shape than I was last year. Contractually, I have things, weights that I need to hit. Whatever the coaches want me to play at then that's what I'll be at. I've worked really hard this offseason and I'll continue to work throughout the offseason program and get acclimated to the new strength coaches and the nutritionists and the way things are done in Foxboro. I'm looking forward to it and that's something that obviously it's been a tag on me my whole career, about my weight, but it's something that I've paid a lot of attention to this offseason. It won't be a problem.

Q: What was the maximum weight that you played at last year?

TK: I can't put the number out there just because of contract stuff and things. I just leave that in the hands of the coaches. As a player you just do what you're told. Like I said, I'm just going to come in and whatever the coaches want me to be at, and see how I'm moving, how I'm playing, they'll put that number on it. That's the number I'll be at.

Q: Was there a reason your weight got to what it did last year that was perhaps out of your control?

TK: Obviously, when it becomes a factor in you playing football, your performance on the field, it's something that you have to pay attention to. I have a lot of football left and I don't want anything to hinder me from that. I put last season behind me. I'm happy about being in New England. Like I said, working with a great strength coach and a nutritionist, I had a long talk with him on my visit, looking forward to putting the plan together that they have for me and executing it and having a new start and a refresh on my career.

Q: How do you try to fit in to a new locker room and have an impact on a new group of guys?

TK: Somebody like myself whose 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 [then] I'll definitely be one of the guys to reiterate that in the locker room and help hold guys accountable.

Q: How did your love for the Boston Celtics come about and what do you think of their chances this season?

TK: I'm very excited about the Celtics. 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.

Q: What was it about the word "rotational" that you had an issue with prior to signing here in New England?

TK: 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.

Q: What did it mean to get the call from the Patriots and how does it feel now that you've signed with them?

TK: 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.

Q: What were some of the factors that led to you choosing New England over the Washington Redskins?

TK: I just prayed on it, talked to a lot of my family. I decide with my heart and my heart just told me to go to New England. I have a lot of respect for the Washington Redskins and their organization. Earlier in the process I was told they were going to move in a different direction and they showed interest late once New England did. I just felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to play for a team that obviously I loved to watch playing growing up, and being a big fan of the coaching staff and just like I said, having a fresh new start and being able to play for this great coaching staff and I'm looking forward to meeting the guys.

Q: Were there any former Patriot players that you admired growing up as a fan?

TK: Maybe not when I was younger, maybe towards high school and college is when I really started paying attention to players, and obviously being a big fan of guys like Vince Wilfork, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, and just those leaders on defense and guys that won games and won Super Bowls - the Rodney Harrisons - just the guys that were great leaders on and off the field and were role models for me growing up and guys that I modeled myself after on the field like a Vince Wilfork. Obviously, big shoes to fill and me being a big guy and playing nose tackle, people will look for me to be like a Wilfork replacement but I'm not thinking about that. I'm just going to come in and work hard every day and just try to create my own niche in the organization.

Q: What sense do you get about the team and the organization when you're competing against them in your previous matchups?

TK: Consistency. Obviously, a team that has a history of being a contender every year. It all starts in April and it starts for us April 18th, with the hard work that we put in during OTAs, during camp, so obviously it's a team that doesn't believe in just showing up on Sundays. Speaking with a few ex-players, I had a long talk with Vince Wilfork obviously before signing, and he was telling me that it's a grind but at the end of the day it's football. It's a good environment to be around, it's a good building to be in, and he had nothing but good things to say about the organization. Like I said, I'm just excited and I'm just looking forward to getting in the building and learning as much football as I can and being around the guys.

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