JERSEY CITY, N.J. --With a nickname like "Pot Roast," the marketing possibilities are endless for defensive tackle Terrance Knighton -- if the Broncos win Super Bowl XLVIII.
"Well, yeah, we go out and win the Super Bowl, I'm pretty sure there'll be something. Maybe a Chunky Soup commercial or something like that," said Knighton, who came mentally prepared for the barrage of questions from national media, most of which will be getting to know him for the first time.
The nickname was bestowed upon him during a 2009 flight back from Seattle by former Jaguars linebacker Clint Ingram, whom Knighton described as "probably the biggest comedian that I've played with."
"It was dark on the plane, everybody was sleeping and the stewardess was saying, 'pot roast, pot roast,' and I raised my hand, as if that was my name," Knighton said. "The guy behind me (Ingram) was like, 'Yeah, I'm going to start calling you, 'Pot Roast,' and I'm like, 'Yeah, whatever.'
"It stuck with me, so I'm just glad I ordered that instead of shrimp alfredo."
He carried the nickname from Jacksonville, spent most of last year trying to distance himself from it, but in recent weeks has embraced it, especially since the reunion with fellow ex-Jaguar Jeremy Mincey.
"He was 'Pot Roast' then, and he's still 'Pot Roast' to me," Mincey said on Jan. 15.
But he might not have ever been "Pot Roast" if had followed through on his desire to stop playing football back at Windsor (Conn.) High School.
"I actually quit football my sophomore year, and wanted to play basketball," Knighton said. "My mom dragged me back out on the field and said, 'No, you belong on the football field.'"
But there's still some things he learned from basketball that he applies to football.
"I'm a trash talker. On the basketball court, I would say I'm like Rasheed Wallace," Knighton said. "On the football field, I'll get into it with guys, but I'm more trying to save my energy and not get into it, because O-linemen sometimes will get the last laugh, because they basically can do whatever they want to. There's no rules for any guys on offense."
Despite that, he loves the game and his place in it.
"I've always loved football. I think when I stopped playing, that was more because I think I got bored with it. I just wanted to focus on one thing," he said. "It's a good thing my mom snapped me back into it."
But in high school, basketball was "definitely a lot more fun," he noted.
"And people see your face more," he added.
But this week, people will see his face more than ever, and football has taken him places of which he could have only dreamed when he was in Connecticut.
"I'm glad I went back and played football," he said.
And by doing so, he's poised to take his place among the list of colorful characters to have played in this most massive of annual sporting events.