Could Kenny Britt really be one and done for the Browns?
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt had a rough game on Sunday. Could his poor performance end his time in the lineup after just one game?
Kenny Britt picked the most inopportune time to drop a pass.
Trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, the Browns were looking to grab some momentum following a Derrick Kindred interception. On a second-and-19 play, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer hit Britt with a perfect pass near midfield that not only would have been enough for a first down but had the potential for a big play.
But Britt dropped the pass.
That was enough for some Browns fans, who will only tolerate dropped passes from wide receivers if they played for Ohio State, to call for Britt’s head.
On Monday, head coach Hue Jackson hinted that he may listen to those calls. Well, not literally in an “off with his head” sense, but that Britt may see a reduction in his playing time starting as soon as Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Jackson was pretty clear about how he felt about Britt’s drop, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
"“Obviously, Kenny dropped the ball in the middle of the field. I have had some of the great ones in this league drop balls, but we can’t do that to a young quarterback because he needs guys to make as many plays for him as they can in this situation. I think Kenny gets that. He knows that is inexcusable. He has to make that play for the quarterback. You are saying that he is starting this week. We don’t know that. Let’s see where we are this week and go from there.”"
Britt has been in a tough situation ever since he signed with the Browns as a free agent in the offseason. He has been lumped in with Dwayne Bowe simply because they are both veteran wide receivers signed in free agency.
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There is also the ongoing narrative that the Browns chose to sign Britt in free agency instead of retaining wide receiver Terrelle Pryor despite the fact that they offered the same contract to Pryor and only turned to Britt after Pryor let his agent talk him into signing a one-year deal for less money with the Washington Redskins.
Add it all up and Britt has been at the top of the hit list for many fans even before he ever set foot on the practice field.
A big day on Sunday, or even just catching the ball when it hits you right in the hands, would have helped quiet the noise some, but that’s not going to happen now.
The weird thing is, Britt is not a wide receiver that drops the ball on a regular basis, or at least not any more than your average wide receiver. He has averaged 2.75 drops over the past four seasons, which does not make him the second coming of Greg Little.
It Britt continues to have more days like Sunday – when he finished with one reception for 13 yards on three targets — then he will likely see his playing time diminish. That will be especially true if Ricardo Louis (two receptions for 32 yards) continues to improve and Kasen Williams, who had a miscue as bad as Britt’s but is OK because he is an instant fan favorite, figures things out.
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Until that happens, however, the Browns are going to need Britt to pull it together and for everyone to take a deep breath and realize that players are going to drop passes from time to time.
For everyone’s sake, hopefully Britt’s next drop won’t come for quite some time.