Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt struggled mightily in his debut with the team, recording one reception for 13 yards in Sunday’s narrow loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It led to speculation that Britt’s starting job could be in jeopardy after an “inexcusable” drop.
Unfortunate drop by Kenny Britt. pic.twitter.com/0gT2Z0YShp
— Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) September 12, 2017
“Obviously, Kenny dropped the ball in the middle of the field and I know that’s what we all are talking about,” head coach Hue Jackson said following the game, via Cleveland.com. “I’ve seen players do that before, and we all have. I’ve 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.”
The dropped pass came with Cleveland looking to turn a two-score game into a narrow affair. As you can see in the video embedded above, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer hit Britt on a prefect slant pass that would have set Cleveland up near mid-field. Instead, the team punted two plays later.
For his part, Kizer doesn’t seem to be too bent out of shape over the drop. He also had a pretty hilarious quote regarding the veteran receiver.
Kizer says he trusts Kenny Britt to come around. "He's been in the league since I;ve been in grade school."
— Steve Doerschuk (@sdoerschukREP) September 13, 2017
Indeed, Kizer was 13 years old when Britt made his NFL debut with the Tennessee Titans back in 2009. Feel old yet?
Unrelated, this is definitely a good stance for Kizer to take. If he’s going to succeed as a young starter in the NFL, the rookie second-round pick will have to rely on the few veterans Cleveland boasts on the offensive side of the ball.
For their part, there’s also every reason for the Browns’ staff to be frustrated. The team signed Britt to a four-year, $32.5 million deal during the spring. He needs to step up and prove to be a consistent weapon for Kizer in the passing game. Dropping a pass in a crucial situation doesn’t help him with the powers to be in Cleveland, nor should it.