Britt seeks big season with Titans
Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013 7:00 pm
By TERRY McCORMICK
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Titans receiver Kenny Britt knows that 2013 is crucial season for his career, and that’s why he’s worked himself into the best shape of his NFL career.
Britt is going into the final year of his rookie contract with the Titans still waiting to see if the receiver finally can put it all together on the field and off, or if the 2009 first-round pick will be just another high draft pick of the franchise to flame out like Andre Woolfolk, Pacman Jones or Vince Young.
“Every year is important to me, but this year it’s important for me to come out and stay healthy,” Britt said. “I feel good. I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, so I’m excited about this year. I’m not going to worry about the contract, because that’s for later. I’m just more worried about me staying healthy.”
Britt had a career-high 42 catches last year after three knee surgeries, disappointing for someone who had 17 receptions for 289 yards and three touchdowns in 2011 before tearing his right ACL in the third game.
“I’m going to be the receiver I was two years ago, and I’m probably going to be even better than that because I’ve focused more on football than I ever have in my life the last few months,” Britt said. “I’m excited to see what I can do this year. They’re counting on me to be on the field and to do the right things on the field and off the field.”
Some of Britt’s motivation could be his next contract. New Titans assistant coach Shawn Jefferson also has been preaching character over talent in the wide receiver meeting room.
Jefferson, who coached Calvin Johnson in Detroit, says Britt has the talent to be both a leader and a playmaker. Britt is the perfect pupil to put Jefferson’s philosophy of “grooming men” as he teaches them as football players to the test.
“He’s the alpha male of the group,” Jefferson said of Britt. “My goal for him this year is that he puts it all together, to be a leader in the room, be a leader in the receiver group, one of the leaders on this team.”
and one of the playmakers on this team.
“One of the things I believe in most is that you raise the man first. . If the man is sound, then the player will come out of the man.”
That will be welcomed by the Titans who have watched Britt get entangled with police in a variety of incidents both in New Jersey where he is from and played in college at Rutgers and here in Tennessee since the team drafted him. They also want to see him really healthy for the first time in a long time, and Britt is looking good so far in the team’s organized team activities.
“I think Kenny is doing a good job,” quarterback Jake Locker said. “He’s still coming back a little bit, but he’s playing really hard. He’s explosive. He looks great, is in great shape and we expect him to continue to progress and be that kind of special player that he is.”
Britt still has occasional swelling in his left knee from a torn meniscus repaired last summer. He was given a day off Tuesday, but he feels much better than a year ago. He has taken part in the Titans’ offseason program from the start rather than spending time recovering from surgery.
“Last year, seeing the ball come out of the quarterback’s hand, it was coming out a little bit faster, and I was coming out of my break a little bit slower,” he said.
Britt will get every opportunity to prove himself to the Titans.
“I think he realizes he has a big role in this offense, and he’s going to help this team have a chance to win …,” coach Mike Munchak said. “Hopefully, he’s going to have the year we all hoped he would have the past few years.”
Notes: The Titans held a number of players out with minor injuries Thursday. Most are expected to at least do individual drills next week as the Titans wrap up their organized team activities, including WR Justin Hunter (hamstring), LT Michael Roos (back), TE Delanie Walker (knee), LG Andy Levitre (knee), G Chris Spencer (calf), TE Brandon Barden (hip) and WR Roberto Wallace (left ankle).
Published in The Messenger 6.7.13