FOXBORO, Mass. — As I rewatched last Sunday’s New England Patriots-Pittsburgh Steelers epic this week, one small moment caught my eye.
It came immediately after wide receiver Kenny Britt, who was making his Patriots debut after signing with the team four days earlier, caught a pass from quarterback Tom Brady on his first snap with his new team.
Britt’s reception picked up a respectable 7 yards on first-and-10, and Brady hit Danny Amendola the next play to extend the drive, which culminated in a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
But as Britt left the field, he looked distraught, shaking his head and yelling at himself as he watched the next snap from the sideline.
He wanted more. He’d hoped to make a better first impression for the team that scooped him up after his miserable Cleveland Browns tenure came to an end two weeks ago.
“That was more about the depth of my route,” Britt told NESN.com this week. “I felt like I could have got more on that play than I got. So that’s why I was just more angry at myself.
“Especially (on my) first play in a game with a new team, (I wanted to) make a good impression. So I was kind of mad that I only got 6 or 7 yards on a 14-yard route.”
Britt caught just 18 passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns in nine games for the Browns this season after signing a four-year, $32.5 million contract with Cleveland this past spring. But the Patriots clearly believe the 29-year-old veteran, who posted career highs in catches (68) and receiving yards (1,002) just last season, still has something to offer.
After playing just two snaps in New England’s 27-24 win over the Steelers, Britt could see his role increase this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, especially with fellow wideout Chris Hogan likely sidelined due to a shoulder injury.
“I’m more comfortable than last week, but they’re doing a lot to help me,” Britt said. “These guys in the wide receiver room, they help me in there. Both quarterbacks (Brady and Brian Hoyer) are helping me to get in there. Every coach on offense is helping me to make sure I know what I’m doing. So, it’s kind of cool.”