In the flow of a game, a single play can stand out as something to build on or something someone needs to work on for the next week, or even something to be excited about. Rarely does one play mean life or death in the grand scheme. However, it appears that one drop by Kenny Britt could have immediate consequences for the veteran wide receiver.
During his weekly press conference Monday, Head Coach Hue Jackson was quoted as saying that Britt may be in danger of losing his starting job. Weekly lineup changes happen, but this one seems to loom bigger than others at a position that is in need of stability and help.
#Browns HC Hue Jackson on WR Kenny Britt’s status as a starter: You’re saying that he’s starting this week. We don’t know that. Let’s see
— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) September 11, 2017
The drop in question was one that is pretty egregious. Britt was on a slant route across the middle, with no defenders around him and had the ball delivered to his stomach perfectly by rookie quarterback Deshone Kizer. Britt turned before he had control of the ball and it leaked out and to the ground. The play occurred on a 2nd-and-19 after a Kizer sack and was in the middle of the field, 20 yards and would have gotten a first down for the Browns.
To sit Britt for one play after one game seems to be a bit of an overreaction, especially when you consider only four wide receivers were targeted in the whole game. Wide receiver Corey Coleman caught five passes on six targets for 53 yards to lead the way while Ricardo Louis was able to bring in two catches on three targets for 32 yards; one a long pass for 29 yards that will inevitably make the highlight reels for both Louis and Kizer. Kasen Williams was targeted twice though neither connected despite Williams having burnt Haden down the sidelines on one as Kizer led him out of bounds. Duke Johnson (multi-faceted-maybe-not-a-running-back-anymore), Matthew Dayes, Seth Devalve and David Njoku all registered pass catches- but are running backs or tight ends- respectively.
While it remains possible Kasen Williams and newly acquired Sammie Coates could come in and produce well enough to unseat Britt for a starting job, look for Kenny to keep his position- for now. In the unofficial depth chart posted by the team, Britt remains a starter, backed up by Louis and Coates. The choice to list Coates over Williams as the fourth wide receiver is surprising since Coates was not on any offensive plays whatsoever and Williams played 12 snaps. However, results are what make the money in today’s NFL and Britt needs to produce or his benching will be more inevitable than inexcusable.