Britt looking like his old self despite sore knees

Kenny Britt knows both his knees will not be 100 percent until

sometime after the season ends when he’s not practicing daily and

playing games.

He is feeling better now and looking like the big physical

receiver who was off to one of the NFL’s best starts for Tennessee

in 2011 before tearing his right ACL and needing a total of three

operations on both knees through June.

”Sometimes there’s good days, sometimes there’s bad days,”

Britt said. ”But I’m confident that I can finish out this

season.”

Britt had his best game this season catching eight passes for

143 yards in last week’s loss to Indianapolis, and the New Jersey

native’s timing is good with the Titans (4-9) preparing to host the

Jets (6-7) on Monday night.

”He made some tough catches,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said

of his receiver. ”There were some great balls dropped in there.

Guys were all over him, he made some great catches. The one was a

PI on them, and he still caught it before the half. He’s a big

target, there are a lot of things he can do.”

It’s taken Britt quite a while to get to this point.

He tore his ACL on Sept. 25, 2011, in a win over Denver, and

that set up his first surgery to repair that knee. In May, Britt

needed a second surgery on the knee to clean up the knee. By late

June, he needed a second arthroscopic surgery to clean up his left

knee, which had been swelling and bothering him.

Still, Britt worked his way back and was ready by the start of

the season when he had to sit out the season opener suspended for

his eighth run-in with police, a July 20th arrest for driving under

the influence at the Fort Campbell post on the Tennessee-Kentucky

border.

Since then, Britt has not missed a game and been a regular in

practice trying to get back into a groove catching passes even with

his left knee still swelling at times and his right knee also

bothering him at times. Getting back to the receiver that had a

career-high 225 yards receiving with three TDs against Philadelphia

on Oct. 24, 2010, has been easier said than done.

Britt found himself practicing only to watch himself on tape and

see himself running such sloppy routes that he didn’t even look

like a pro receiver. Catching slant passes were the hardest.

”Trying to find the ball coming out of the quarterback’s hands

and catching it with my eyes first and then catching it with my

hands,” Britt said. ”That was just really hard to locate the ball

coming out of my breaks because it came out so fast and it was on

me so fast.”

His struggles showed on the field where Britt had six games with

three or fewer passes. He had three TD receptions, and his longest

catch was a 37-yarder against Pittsburgh on Oct. 11.

So the 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver spent more time with

assistant coach Dave Ragone and worked more catching balls off the

Juggs machine. Then he said his legs finally started feeling better

the past couple weeks.

Then something clicked for Britt in Indianapolis. He averaged

17.9 yards per catch with a long reception of 46 yards and looked

like the player who had 271 yards receiving through the first two

weeks of the 2011 season. This is why the Titans drafted him in the

first round out of Rutgers in 2009, and he led the team in yards

receiving each of his first two seasons.

”The road to recovery that he’s been going through has been

hard, mentally and physically for him, in a lot of areas,” coach

Mike Munchak said. ”To finally have a game that picks him back up

where he left off back in Week 2 last year after our first two

games where he had about 150 a game. I think that’s a good thing

for him.”

The way Britt played may mean Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie

matches up with him. The receiver has been studying Cromartie on

film and hopes to be prepared for the way the defensive back

presses and puts his hands on an opponent. Playing well is a must

against the Jets with so many relatives back in Bayonne, N.J.

watching.

”We got some friends that’ll definitely wear the Jets’ jerseys

but everybody’s just rooting (for) me,” Britt said. ”I see it in

Twitter and I see it in text messages. Everybody’s rooting on me to

get this W out here on Monday night.”

Notes: LB Colin McCarthy (concussion) did not practice Friday

and is at risk of missing a third straight game. Munchak said the

linebacker can tolerate light activity but still has symptoms when

he tries to push himself. DE Scott Solomon (knee) and receiver

Damian Williams (hamstring) also did not practice. … Chris

Johnson returned to practice after resting a sore ankle Thursday.

DT Jurrell Casey (knee) was limited.

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