EARTH CITY, Mo. -- By the time his five-year tenure with the Tennessee Titans came to an end after the 2013 season, wide receiver Kenny Britt had long-since decided he was in dire need of a change of scenery.
Britt's welcome had been worn out in Nashville as injuries and off-the-field incidents accumulated to the point that in a matter of a few seasons he went from potential No. 1 receiver to game day inactive. As he entered free agency, Britt's next career step was unclear other than the fact it would involve a departure from Tennessee.
When the St. Louis Rams and coach Jeff Fisher came calling, the choice picked up a healthy dose of clarity. Although Britt received interest from other teams, his ties to Fisher, the coach who spent a first-round pick on him in 2009, made it an easy decision.
Britt signed a one-year deal with the Rams in April and has quickly found the fresh start he sought at the outset of free agency.
"It’s everything to me, to tell you the truth," Britt said. "My mind is free and relaxed right now. I’m taking this year as a rookie year, like when I first came into the league. That’s my mind state right now."
Britt has wasted little time making his presence felt in St. Louis. The Rams held their second organized team activity Thursday and Britt stole the show for reasons both positive and negative.
During one-on-one passing drills, Britt showed his speed, racing past cornerback Janoris Jenkins for a touchdown from quarterback Shaun Hill from about 40 yards out. On his next rep, Britt did the same to the other starting cornerback, Trumaine Johnson.
Without pads or any sort of designed coverage schemes, there's not much to be taken from the plays but if nothing else, Britt showed some explosion and deep speed on a surgically repaired knee.
"He’s a big, explosive wide receiver who can make plays down the field," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "He’s looked really good in his time here. Watching him and the energy that he comes on to the field with every day has been great, not only for the offense but for that wide receiver corps. I feel like he brings kind of a presence and energy that maybe hasn’t been there in the past."
That presence and energy could be a good thing for a young wide receiving corps in which Britt is the "grizzled" veteran at the ripe old age of 25. With so many young and unproven wideouts surrounding him, Britt's competitive and feisty approach could be a welcome addition to the practice field.
But it's also important for that approach to have its limits. After both of Britt's catches, he was quick to let the young corners know about it. The ensuing trash talk eventually gave way to a fairly serious fight with Johnson. The scrap was enough for Fisher to stop the practice and let his team know such antics would not be tolerated, even going so far as to threaten to kick Britt and Johnson off the practice field.
Competitiveness and attitude are needed and can be a net gain for both the young wideouts and young corners but must also be kept in check.
"We take that on the field, off the field, in the weight room, in the locker room," Britt said. "Guys love it. We're males out there, this is a man's game. That's one thing, when you come between those lines, you compete. When we go in the locker room, we're brothers."
Despite never registering more than 775 yards in a season and with a career tally of 2,450 yards, Britt is still the most accomplished receiver on the team, which speaks to the youth and lack of production from that group.
At 6-foot-3, 223 pounds, Britt cuts an imposing figure as a solution to be the big, physical receiver the team has lacked. His chiseled frame has some teammates already referring to him as "The Incredible Hulk."
Based on early returns, like the Marvel superhero, Britt also must find a way to pick and choose when he lets the beast out of the cage.
“He’s a very emotional kid," Fisher said. "He’s an emotional receiver. He looks the part and he can make the plays. I was really happy to see him come on. He kept himself in really good shape during the free agency period. He came in, has done a great job inside. He’s had no setbacks, feels great physically. He could potentially return to where he was a very productive receiver.”