Terrance Knighton received the eighth-annual Darrent Williams Good Guy Award on Friday.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Terrance Knighton began his press conference on Friday by thanking the media. It's extremely rare for a football player to show appreciation for those who pepper him with questions five days a week.
But Knighton is a unique, honest character. He thanked the media in the room for both the positive and negative things that they report, saying it makes him better on the field.
It's for comments like this and his consistent uprightness that he was named the Broncos' eighth-annual Darrent Williams Good Guy Award winner. The award is presented by the Denver chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America to a player who shows accountability and accessibility to the media.
"I respect you guys a lot and what you guys do, and a lot of players don't, to be honest," Knighton said when addressing the media. "I respect everyone in their job and what they do, so I give more respect back to the people who respect me."
He said he knows that the reporters have work to do and families to feed, and he acknowledges that once a player signs a contact, he is held accountable for his actions. While Knighton didn't know Williams, he had been told about Williams' enthusiasm and positive attitude in the locker room.
He tries to model himself to be a similar kind of player and person.
Head Coach John Fox said Knighton is an excellent addition to the Broncos' locker room.
"I think it's always important to understand that the media is a big part of our job in promoting our sport and promoting our organization that Terrance represents," Fox said. "I think he's well-deserved of that and it's our connection to the fans and you guys, and I think he does a tremendous job."
Knighton referenced both his mother, Rochelle, and grandmother throughout his press conference – noting their impact on his life and the respect they taught him to have for others.
Knighton said his family motivates him each day, and that family includes his teammates who voted him as one of the defensive captains in just his second season in Denver. He is the oldest of four brothers so he looks to set an example in everything he does – whether in a game, during practice or answering a plethora of media questions earnestly and scrupulously.
"I always believed in not letting people down and that's how I live my life," he said.
He said his grandmother, who helped raise him when his mother had him at 16 years old, will be more proud of him for winning this award than an on-the-field accolade.
"We lived with my grandmother and she taught me a lot of things. She was really the discipline in our family, she was the rock. That's why I have her tattooed on my hand because she's the rock in our family," he said pointing to the tattoo on his right hand. "She holds us together. Without her, our family would be who knows where. I probably wouldn't be standing right here."
He reminded the media that his grandmother Googles him frequently and will call him to ask questions about what he says. Last week, when Knighton was dealing with an elbow issue, she called him to check on his game status: "The more questions you guys ask the more fun she has with it. She likes seeing my name pop up on the Internet."
He said that he is confident that his grandma will report back to him on Sunday or Monday morning with her Google findings and he made a promise to the media.
"I'll be sure to let you know what my grandma says."