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
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
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
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
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.
”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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