Benching serves as Kenny Britt's warning from Tennessee Titans

By Jim Wyatt | The Tennessean

Kenny Britt is big enough, strong enough and fast enough to make a big impact for the Titans every week.

Through two games, however, the wide receiver has been mostly invisible. He was benched for a stretch of the 30-24 overtime loss to the Texans on Sunday because coaches were tired of his mistakes and his lackadaisical approach to blocking.

If the Titans are going to be potent on offense, they have to get more out of Britt. Two years removed from a knee injury that brought him back down to earth just as he was showing signs of rising to stardom, the fifth-year pro is being counted on for a breakout season.

"I'd love to be involved as much as they want me to be, as much as I've been in the past. But as the game rolls out, I am there when they need me," said Britt, who has five catches for 43 yards. "I am not the coordinator and I am not the quarterback -- they decide where the ball goes. I am still ready to go. It is a long season and we have a lot of games to go."

It's clear the Titans are frustrated with Britt, who is in the final year of his contract. He has only two more catches than he has penalties, and that's not counting a 15-yarder after Britt, Chris Johnson and Kendall Wright danced to celebrate Wright's touchdown against the Texans.

There's also concern about the way Britt runs routes -- coaches want more precision -- and his blocking. His lack of effort in the latter contributed to the benching. Rookie Justin Hunter was put on the field in Britt's place.

"That's two weeks in a row he's had a holding call, so it was more to refocus him," Munchak said of the benching. "It cost us a 10-yard penalty on a 10-yard gain, and we can't have that."

Not all the blame should fall on Britt, however.

He's been targeted only 11 times, including twice in the opener against the Steelers. Against the Texans, quarterback Jake Locker's pass for Britt was high on a critical third-and-1 late in the game. Locker connected with Britt on a deep ball, but the play was blown dead because of a penalty.

"The quarterback is the most marquee spot. He is the guy who has the ball in his hands the most, so he is the guy you assume is going to make more of the big plays," Munchak said. "In this game we needed more of those big plays."

Britt is talented enough to make a good group of receives great. The Titans (1-1) still have their fingers crossed it will happen, beginning against the Chargers (1-1) on Sunday. The knee pain that slowed Britt at times last season is no longer an issue, Munchak said.

"He just needs the season to develop and continue to get the opportunities ... and we think he'll get to where he needs to be," Munchak said. "It is Week 2. We've played two good defenses. So let's wait and see how things progress as we go forward with the receivers."


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