Family matters weighed Knighton down

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When last I saw Terrance Knighton, I was discussing with other reporters how ginormous he was at OTAs in early May. The guy affectionately known as Pot Roast wasn’t going to let extra pounds throw him off track, was he?

He’s working at it, but still has some pounds to shed. And so he’s not been with the first team as much as you’d expect for a guy who made an impressive NFL debut last year, when he was especially good at stuffing the run.

“Coach [Joe] Cullen is working that group hard and rewarding guys that are doing things exactly the way we want it, and I’m sure [Knighton] will continue to fight his way and be where we need him when it’s all said and done,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “Right now he’s just rotating in and that should continue to develop and as far as I am concerned he’s just here working like everybody else.”

Gene Frenette touches on Knighton's being lethargic in early practices here.

Knighton admits he was a bit distracted this offseason after a successful debut. He moved his mom, cousin and two brothers to a Jacksonville-area home and enjoyed too much steak and potatoes while addressing non-football matters.

Monday night he said he was at 346, within two or three pounds of getting into the rotation with the ones. He started the 2009 season in the 335 range. But this offseason he ballooned, big time. I have to say he still looks to be around 346.

“Just hanging out, eating things you’re not supposed to, eating grandma’s cooking every day,” he said. “But I’m back in it… There was a correlation. It was my first time handling a lot of things, with a lot of people depending on me. Now that’s out of the way. I’m focusing on football. I’m used to it now. My priorities were a little messed up but I’m on the right track now.”

Knighton is a likeable guy who rings sincere and I can’t imagine he’d let his weight get in the way now, knowing he can be an effective player so long as he stays within in the parameters the team has set.

With John Henderson gone and four rookie defensive linemen in the draft class, he said he’s a now a middle man who can be a tone-setter and a resource.

Knighton said ultimately he and first-round pick Tyson Alualu, who’s expected to join the team today, should line up side-by-side as the starting defensive tackles when the lineups are set after camp.

“The D-line wants to be seen as a whole group, try to get 40-plus sacks,” he said. “We have to emerge as a group.”