CLEVELAND - Kenny Britt has had better weeks.
On Sunday, the ninth-year wide receiver turned in a disappointing debut with the Cleveland Browns, catching just one ball for 13 yards to go along with a heavily scrutinized drop in the fourth quarter of his new team's 21-18 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A day later, Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson insinuated Britt may no longer be a member of the Browns' starting lineup.
On Wednesday, Britt was provided the opportunity to defend his poor performance, which he attempted to do -- albeit, begrudgingly. According to multiple reporters, Britt was disengaged during the team's media availability, at one point even answering questions while facing his locker.
"I'm not talking about [my key drop], you guys are talking about it," Britt told reporters, per Brian Dulik of the Medina Gazette. "Even Hall of Famers drop balls."
That may be the case, but Britt's track record hardly suggests that Canton should begin preparing a bust for him anytime soon. In eight seasons, the Rutgers product caught 309 passes for 4,881 yards and 30 touchdowns before signing a 4-year, $32 million deal with the Browns this past offseason.
Britt is, however, coming off his best season as a pro, in which he recorded 111 receptions for 1,002 yards and 5 touchdowns for the Los Angeles Rams. That was a big reason why Cleveland was hopeful his production could help offset the departure of free agent Terrelle Pryor -- although the early returns have been disappointing.
"He has to play better," Jackson said of Britt on Monday. "It is just that simple. That is where we are.”
Fortunately for both Britt and the Browns, they've only played one regular season game, with 15 still remaining. But after his disappointing debut followed a ho-hum offseason, it's clear that at the very least, Britt is on notice as Cleveland searches for offensive weapons who can help accelerate the development of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.
"That ball is gonna be back in that same spot," Kizer said of Britt's big drop. "And he's gonna catch it."
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