Kenny Britt needs to be the man for the Titans. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Many Tennessee Titans fans are frustrated with the development and production of their #1 wide-out Kenny Britt. A surprise first round draft pick for the Titans, Britt emerged in his rookie year as their best receiver. His size, speed and athletic ability instantly labeled him a player with unlimited potential. One of my main criticisms of the Titans organization has not been the players they draft or even the ones they let go, but rather the timeline involved. They are historically slow to develop players instead of getting a quick return on their high end draft picks. So let’s take a look at this first round draft pick form 2009.
Here’s Britt’s stats for his four years in the league:
Year GP REC TGT YDS AVG LNG TD FD FUM LST
As you can see, Britt’s first year was great for a rookie, as he showed a lot of promise. Hamstring injuries lead to only 12 games played in his sophomore campaign, and yet his stats were almost identical. We’ll call this a lateral move when you combine the production and the time off.
Britt’s third year started with a bang as he had almost 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in just 3 games before tearing his ACL and ending his season. He was finally who we thought he was, only to fall to injury.
So now in his fourth year, coming off the knee injury, what has he done? I did a little research for comparison sake.
Britt is currently ranked 73rd in yards among receivers. He ranks 60th in targets. That’s right, the Titans #1 option is ranked 73rd! In defense of Britt, there are other great receivers with the pedigree of “elite” having bad years as well. So you say it’s bad QB play that has Britt flailing? Larry Fitzgerald has the worst QB carousel in the league and has 674 yards and 4 TD’s, although on over 130 targets. You can’t tell me Hasselbeck and Locker are worse than Kolbe, Skelton, and whoever else they find off the street.
Rather compare someone with equal targets? How about Sidney Rice. He has 77 targets for 734 yards and 7 TDs. That’s double the touchdowns and another 200 yards. But he has a different QB throwing him the ball and a better offensive game plan, right?
Well then let’s look no further than to Kenny Britt’s teammates. Same QB’s, same game plan. Nate Washington has the same amount of receptions (43 to 41) for 710 yards and 4 TDs. Even this year’s rookie Kendall Wright has 586 yards for 4 touchdowns. So is Britt really a number one receiver?
Britt is coming off the knee surgery. I’m not going to hold him to the same standards as Adrian Peterson, who was able to come back from the same injury, four months quicker, and shatter records. Not everyone can be Superman. The problem is that we may just think he’s better than he actually is. We all hear about his athleticism and strength, but Britt was held to just 1 catch for 7 yards during the Jets game. Unacceptable. If Kenny is going to be what this team expects him to be and what the fans already think he is, then he can’t get manhandled on every play like he did with Cromartie. Britt needs to step up and play the hard physical ball that we all think he’s capable of. The knee injury can’t be an excuse after this year, and I doubt the titans organization will put up with any more shenanigans in the off- season.
In 2013 will Kenny Britt live up to his potential? Or do we just have another Ben Troupe on our hands?
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