Kenny Britt understands that his game-winning touchdown catch against Arizona last season was memorable. Even so, he does not know why people don’t want to let him forget it.
“They bring it up to me almost every day, and that’s what everybody reminds me of,” he said.
His leaping reception in the back of the end zone as time expired was one of the obvious high points of the Tennessee Titans’ unprecedented recovery from an 0-6 start to a season-ending 8-8 record.
When the Titans’ top pick in the 2009 draft looks back on his rookie season, though, he recalls a lot more than just that moment. His memories, in fact, go beyond the 42 receptions, the three touchdowns and the team-high 701 receiving yards.
“I had a part to play throughout the whole season, and I believe I was out there before the Arizona catch,” Britt said. “That’s what everybody remembers. But I want to be remembered for the long blocks down field that spring (running back Chris Johnson) into the end zone and the little things that help the other receivers out.”
Britt was one of only two Tennessee rookies who played all 16 games in 2009. He made at least one reception in 14 of those 16 contests and at one point caught a touchdown pass in three straight.
His reception total was twice the number the last wide receiver the Titans selected in the first round (Kevin Dyson in 1998) had in his rookie season.
It was only a matter of weeks after the end of the season that wide receivers coach Fred Graves encouraged him to review some of the things he did. Chances are, the catch against the Cardinals was not near the top of the list.
“Coach called me up at 7 o’clock and said, ‘OK, let’s go watch tape.’” Britt said. “I said, ‘Tape coach? All right, I’m there.’
“Then you look back and see what you did wrong. That’s what really helps us in the long run.”
Britt was held out of the Titans’ first offseason practice sessions because of concerns over his hamstring. He was back on the field last week and is expected to participate when the team conducts two more workouts this week – Tuesday and Wednesday.
He started six games late in the season, but with veterans Nate Washington and Justin Gage back, there are no guarantees Britt’s role will increase this fall.
“The only thing that changes is the learning process,” he said. “I know the playbook now. I’m not going to be hesitant out on the field and looking at the defense to see what I have to do. Now that I know the offense and things like that, I just want to do the same thing as last year.
“I just want to do my part. Whatever the coaches ask me to do and whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it regardless of what it is. … That’s what I want to be remembered for – the hard work on the field and doing things for my teammates.”