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Jeff Fisher expects more from Kenny Britt

4/2/2015

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- There's not a coach in the NFL who has a better understanding of what St. Louis Rams receiver Kenny Britt is capable of and what he needs to get there than Jeff Fisher.

Fisher drafted Britt in 2009 when he was coach of the Tennessee Titans. It's why Fisher bet on Britt in free agency last year with a one-year "prove it" deal and why he followed up again with a two-year deal early in free agency after Britt did prove to be a valuable contributor.

Britt landed a two-year deal worth $9.15 million with some incentives that could drive it up to about $14 million. It also has performance clauses that could allow Britt to void the second year of the deal if he performs at a high level in 2015.

Those clauses and incentives technically qualify as "not likely to be earned" because Britt has never reached some of the numbers it entails. In fact, Britt has never exceeded 48 catches, 775 yards or nine touchdowns in a season. He did, however, hit that career-high in catches last year for the Rams while becoming the first Rams pass catcher since 2008 to post 700 or more receiving yards.

Hitting 700 receiving yards or 50 receptions isn't bad but it's also not No. 1 caliber receiver production by any means. Which is why both Fisher and Britt believe there's a lot more that Britt can do in his second go-round with the team.

“It didn’t surprise me because obviously I know Kenny, the production didn’t surprise me," Fisher said. "I can kind of share the same issue Kenny does and that’s we think he can be better. I think he can do better. He thinks he can be better. He thinks he can be more productive. He’s looking forward to the offensive changes. I think yeah, we should see a lot more out of Kenny this year.”

While some offensive tweaks should help, it would also help if Britt was able to get some consistent quarterback play. With Nick Foles in place, there should be more opportunities down the field for Britt (assuming that Foles has time to throw, which is a much different discussion). But Britt flashed the ability to make big plays down the field last year, leading the Rams with 13 receptions of 20 or more yards. For comparison's sake, tight end Jared Cook was next on the team with seven such plays.

The Rams have been linked to a number of top wideouts in this year's draft and with Brian Quick recovering from a serious shoulder injury, it's possible the team will look to add a wideout who could be a No. 1 type. But if they don't, it's likely because Fisher believes -- right or wrong -- that Britt can give him what he needs.