Locker asked for Britt to be benched on Titans' game-winning drive

9/23/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

If I were to tell you that the Tennessee Titans got the football on their own six-yard line with just 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter of a game in which they trailed by four points, and then told you that the Titans ended up winning that game, how many catches would you guess their No. 1 receiver, Kenny Britt, had on that game-winning drive?

Aug 8, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt (18) on the sidelines in a game against the Washington Redskins during the second half at LP Field. The Redskins beat the Titans 22-21. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY SportsMoving the ball 94 yards in just over two minutes requires a fast paced, pass-first offensive approach, and the Titans ran ten plays on the drive. Meanwhile, Britt is a phenomenal talent who has the ability to take over a game. Given what I just said, a reasonable guess for Britt's catches on the final drive could be two or three, but the answer is zero.

As a matter of fact, Britt did not even play a single snap on that final drive. Why? It depends who you ask. Britt will claim that he was banged up from an earlier hit which resulted in him falling on his head. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains had a conflicting story, telling reporters that Britt's absence was the coaching staff's decision.

According to David Climer of the Tennessean, however, Britt's benching came at the request of the Titans' quarterback, Jake Locker. Locker must have been frustrated with Britt heading into that final drive, as Britt had dropped two of the five passes that Locker threw his way and was also flagged for two penalties.

Locker asked for rookie Justin Hunter - who was active for the second time this season and played just seven snaps in his debut - to step in for the ineffective Britt, and what do you know? Hunter hauled in an impressive 34-yard touchdown pass - his first career reception - to win the game with 21 seconds remaining.

The impressive play has prompted Loggains to imply that Hunter could begin seeing more playing time at the expense of Britt. Hunter does have some special talent, but his game is extremely raw, which is why he was inactive for Week 1 and played scarcely in Weeks 2 and 3. Of course, if Britt keeps letting down his teammates and coaching staff, the rawness of Hunter's game may not be enough to keep him from eating into Britt's playing time.
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