Monday, August 30, 2010

Terrance Knighton's Rise in the NFL

Former Temple defensive tackle ('05-'08) Terrance Knighton, selected 72nd overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009, has a very bright future ahead of him in the NFL. After a stellar first season in which he was arguably the best rookie defensive tackle out of his draft class, Knighton is ready to make a name for himself in the national spotlight, and his journey is unraveling before our eyes.

I spoke with Terry O'Brien of Black and Teal, a fan site devoted to the Jacksonville Jaguars, hosted by The topic of our discussion was Terrance Knighton, and what Jags' fans are expecting from the young player this season.

1. With a year under his belt in Jacksonville, how do you see him being implemented into the Jags' defense this season?

Terrance Knighton is a main pillar in the front of the defense. There are no real backups for him. He is a real talent. He came into camp 30 pounds heavier and said his mother was cooking for him. The trainer took him home and his wife, an Olympic swimmer, cooked for him. He lost the weight. He has been wonderful in pre-season. He is a starter.

2. With Aaron Kampman now on the outside of Knighton, do you think that will give Knighton more opportunities up the middle? Or do you think it will work the other way around, in which Knighton will help Kampman get more 1-on-1's on the outside?

Terrance is frequently double teamed. Tyson Alualu jumps around. So what he see happening is three things. First, Terrance forms a wall for Aaron Kampman to come around. Terrance pushes the double team back and Aaron sneaks around back. We got a sack against Miami that way. Second is a stunt with Tyson where they cross. Third, if Terrance is single teamed, he pushes the guy into the backfield. They are teaching him a lot of different items, but I don’t expect a lot of sacks from him.

3. Do you think Knighton will surpass his rookie totals of 45 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his sophomore season?

I do. First off, with Tyson Alualu in the middle, teams will test the middle with the run giving him more opportunities. Second, with more pressure from the line in general, he will be more open. Right now, he has been more effective than Tyson Alualu.

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