VOL. 37 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 27, 2013
Britt has 13 games to make or break his career
Have the Titans turned the page on Kenny Britt? Maybe it should be asked this way: Has Kenny Britt turned the page on the Titans?
Britt said last week he was just letting out his frustration when he tweeted that he believed the 2013 season would be his last in Tennessee, that he was likely headed down the same path as Jared Cook.
Cook was vocal about his disappointment last year, and when the time came, rather than use a franchise tag to keep the tight end for this season, the Titans let him walk away and reunite with Jeff Fisher as a St. Louis Ram.
When quizzed about his tweet, Britt said he had no regrets.
“I know there are consequences to everything you do and everything you say, but I would have probably still tweeted it,” he said last week.
After meeting with head coach Mike Munchak and general manager Ruston Webster, who advised him not to air his grievances with the club publicly, Britt seemed ready to go, even telling me Friday that he felt as if he had had one of his best practices of the year.
It should have all been over and behind him.
Then came Sunday.
On the Titans’ first offensive play, Britt dropped a short pass right that would have at least set up a second-and-short against the Chargers. To compound matters, Britt was called for a false start two plays later.
Later, he was flagged for yet another blocking penalty, all the while catching none of the five passes thrown to him Sunday.
To make matters worse, rookie receiver Justin Hunter, the heir apparent at Britt’s X receiver position, hauled in the game-winning catch with 15 seconds to go and, in one reception, became an instant Titans hero.
To his credit, Britt politely and patiently answered post-game questions about his continued struggles.
“I’m not disappointed in that (drop). I’m just disappointed in my whole day,” Britt said. “Sometimes, you don’t have good games, and I’ve just got to bounce back this week.”
Britt has five catches this season for 43 yards and five penalties for 40 yards. If he were a hockey player, his plus/minus ratio wouldn’t be very good.
So where exactly does this leave Britt, and where does it leave the Titans in going forward?
Quite frankly, that’s hard to say.
Before Sunday’s latest exercise in frustration, I was told that Britt was too talented for the Titans to just give up on him.
But former Titans receiver Derrick Mason said on a local radio station 102.5 The Game after Sunday’s game that it might be time for the front office to think about dealing Britt. Trouble is, Britt’s trade value has probably never been lower.
If Anquan Boldin was given away for a sixth-round pick in the off-season by Baltimore, the Titans could probably expect even less if they shopped Britt.
Truth is, Britt looks like he is pressing and having issues with his confidence. Most of his mistakes seemingly have come from a lack of attention to detail and/or concentration.
Maturity has always been the issue with Britt, from almost the minute the Titans drafted him. There were the off-field brushes with the law – nothing major, but plenty of annoying things that the Titans have put up with in waiting for the flashes of talent Britt has shown to turn into more consistent production.
There is the injury that cost him most of 2011, just as he looked to be developing into a star.
Since then, there has been only more of the waiting game, of hoping that Britt will finally “get it” before his days as a Titan are done.
Britt is in his fifth season with the club, but just turned 25 last week, meaning he should be hitting the prime of his career.
But the most important number for Britt right now is 13, as in Britt has 13 games to prove himself. Maybe fewer games, from what offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains’ said Sunday.
“Competition makes everyone better. He understands that Justin is coming and he’s coming fast. The last three weeks have been big weeks for him, and Kenny is still a physical specimen that is going to be part of this offense,” Loggains said.
“We can’t have dropped balls from anyone. We can’t have penalties.”
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com and is a blogger for National Football Post.