When Titans WR Kenny Britt played at Rutgers, his head coach, Greg Schiano, would say, "Trained behavior becomes habit," Britt recalled. And indeed, Britt is hoping the way he practices and prepares will pay off for him in his second NFL season.
In a recent interview with PFW, Britt, who makes no secret that he had a disappointing offseason, detailed his efforts to improve. The 22-year-old Britt, who wants to become a No. 1-caliber receiver, said he's focused on "doing the little things, the little things that add up to big things."
Britt, whose playing time has increased recently with Justin Gage battling a hamstring injury, has never lacked the talent to do big things. He led the Titans in receiving yards as a rookie, and he helped key the Titans' Week Five win at Dallas with four catches, 86 yards and a touchdown. He also drew 48 yards in pass-interference penalties.
The 6-foot-3 Britt has outstanding size and leaping ability, and when he has played, he has usually produced. Yet, his work habits in the offseason were not what they should have been, he said, admitting he was "really not focusing on football until I came back to OTAs." The lesson he's taken from the offseason, he said, is a better understanding of the importance of attending to his business on the field and how that helps the team.
In season, he's working to get better. One specific example: improving his ability to "stop on a dime" on "long in-routes, the long comebacks and things like that," something he's focusing on during and after practice.
Britt told PFW he's received technical pointers for years but usually put implementing them on the "back burner." Now, he sees the value of what he's being taught. Case-in-point: Britt recalls former Broncos WR Rod Smith telling him before the 2009 draft that Britt would "raise up" as he was about to make his break and would also glance downward as he was to make his break — two technique no-nos that can tip off cornerbacks.
In Tennessee, Britt has closely watched Nate Washington, whose route running he admires, and Washington was "saying the same thing Rod Smith is saying," Britt said.
As Britt put it, "Well, these people are not just telling me just to tell me — they've been doing it, they've lived through it, they've been taught this, and it actually works."