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Britt's importance to Titans' offense greater than ever

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Posted Oct. 26, 2010 @ 12:08 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Titans are in first place in the AFC South after a 37-19 victory over Philadelphia, sparked by WR Kenny Britt, who wasn't even a sure thing to play Sunday after being allegedly involved in a bar fight early Friday morning in Nashville.

Britt caught seven passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns — including 26-, 80- and 16-yard scores — as Tennessee rolled to 27 fourth-quarter points to overcome a 19-10 deficit.

On Monday, head coach Jeff Fisher said of Britt's big game and the off-field incident, "I think both of them will be helpful in the long run. Sometimes when you face adversity in the face, you learn from it and you won't allow it to happen again. I hope that's going to be the case."

Per The (Nashville) Tennessean, Nashville police say witnesses allege Britt punched a man at the Karma Lounge in downtown Nashville. Charges have not yet been filed against Britt.

Fisher explained Monday why Britt, who was benched in the first quarter vs. Philadelphia, played Sunday. Echoing sentiments he had expressed Sunday, he noted that the club could still discipline Britt.

"What I did was I talked to Kenny (Friday) and I sent him home, as you’re all aware," Fisher said. "So he didn’t practice Friday, and at that point I was leaning towards sitting him. But after several conversations with him and some other information that I was able to obtain, I felt better about playing him because of the nature of the time frame. The fact that there was not a lot of time, I didn’t want to hurt the football team simply because I did not have the information. Sitting Kenny down and taking disciplinary action from a club standpoint is still a realistic possibility."

Asked what he learned from his recent off-field incident, Britt said Sunday, "Don't go to places after 12 o'clock, stay in the house. My fiancée actually yelled at me after that, and I was like, "OK, I'll stay home for the rest of the season."

The PFW spin

Britt, 22, has emerged as the Titans' most important target in the passing game, and if he were to miss any playing time, it would clearly hurt the offense. Britt, who has seven TD catches in the last five games, is a very tough matchup, especially in the red zone, because of his size and athleticism.

"There is not much better that I've played with," Titans QB Kerry Collins said Sunday. "He is big, physical; he can run. He is going to do everything he can to get the ball. He is aggressive going after it. The guy loves to play. He loves making big plays. As a quarterback, it is nice to know that a guy like that is on your team because, like I said today, there were some throws that weren't exactly perfect, but the guy did whatever he had to do to get the ball."

Britt's big game Sunday came as the Eagles shut down the Titans' ground game, holding Chris Johnson to just 66 yards on 24 carries. Fisher noted Monday that Britt's play "should help to open the run game a little bit. Clearly they were not going to allow us to run the football yesterday."

Britt's maturity has been an ongoing concern. He admittedly was not in shape in the offseason. His production once he moved into the lineup in place of the injured Justin Gage (hamstring) has been especially impressive, but this off-field incident is, at best, a unnecessary distraction. He is more vital than ever to an offense that will need the threat of the pass to keep defenses honest.

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