Can BIG man Terrance Knighton really dunk?
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (AP) — The big debate in the Denver Broncos locker room is about whether 350ish-pound (158-kilogram) nose tackle Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton can really dunk a basketball like he claims.
Standing under the basket. Flat-footed. Vertical leap. No running start.
Players are taking sides and planning to head to the hardwood after the NFL season is over — which they hope won’t be until February, of course.
The 6-foot-3 (1.90-meter) Knighton said he looks forward to proving his doubters wrong, especially those urging him to, as the saying goes, “put your money where your mouth is.”
Tight end Julius Thomas, a power forward in college, doesn’t see how Knighton could possibly jump that high.
“I’m one of the strongest opponents of believing he can dunk,” Thomas said. “I told T-Knight, ‘Man, if you can dunk, I’ll take all the chagrin, you know, you’ve earned it at that point. But I can’t just take you on your word for that.’
“I’ve seen a lot more spryer men try and fail.”
Running back C.J. Anderson is a believer — he said he’s seen him do it.
And he said all the naysayers need to do is look at how Knighton has used his uncommonly long arms to swat two passes that helped the Broncos sweep the Kansas City Chiefs this season.
“I’ve played basketball with him,” Anderson said. “He’s super athletic for the size he is. So, when he jumps up and tips passes and makes plays, it doesn’t surprise me. He doesn’t have to jump too high. He’s super-long and you can tell just watching him in the trenches. He makes things happen on his own.”
Thanks in large part to the jelly-belly Knighton, the Broncos are second in the league against the run, but Knighton has also done his share of disrupting passing games. Last week at Kansas City, he reached high to deflect Alex Smith’s throw, and teammate DeMarcus Ware came down with the interception.
Knighton, of course, called it an “alley-oop.”
Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio wouldn’t bet against Knighton being able to slam a basketball through the standard 10-foot hoop.
“He’s an athlete,” Del Rio said. “I mean, he’s a former wide receiver. He’s got good hands. He’s got good feet. I would say he can dunk. Listen, I played The Fridge. William “The Refrigerator” Perry and I were Lombardi finalists (for best college lineman or linebacker), and I watched him dunk. And he was big like that. So, I know Terrance is the same type of athlete, probably a little more athletic than The Fridge was but powerful like that.”
Thomas will have to see it to believe it.
“I’m looking forward to finding out,” Thomas said. “After the season, we’re going to get to the bottom of this.”