NASHVILLE - Most observers would view 2013 as make or break for Kenny Britt.
Britt has teased, tantalized and flashed the vast potential the Titans saw in him when they selected him in the first-round out of Rutgers in 2009.
But thanks to injuries and Britt's numerous off-field issues, the Titans haven't seen it nearly often enough to say they can count on him to deliver and be a true No. 1-type playmaking receiver.
As Britt enters the final year of his rookie contract, he comes off a season in which he had a career-high 42 catches, but still one of vast disappointment in his first year back from a torn ACL in his right knee from 2011.
Now, as the Titans begin OTAs, Britt declares himself in the best shape of his career and ready to finally fulfill the hopes that Tennessee had in him from the beginning.
Britt is at a crossroads in his career in many ways. Not only have injuries and numerous police run-ins plagued him, but he is also entering the final year of his deal. It is pretty much believed that in order to secure any type long-term look by the Titans, Britt has to have a monster season on the field and be a model citizen off it.
"Every year is important to me, but this year it's important for me to come out and stay healthy," Britt said. "I feel good. I feel like I'm in the best shape I've ever been in, so I'm excited about this year. I'm not going to worry about the contract, because that's for later. I'm just more worried about me staying healthy."
Teammates have noticed a difference in Britt thus far.
"I think Kenny is doing a good job," said second-year wide receiver Kendall Wright. "He's still coming back a little bit, but he's playing really hard. He's explosive. He looks great, is in great shape and we expect him to continue to progress and be that kind of special player that he is."
Britt actually had three procedures on both knees - having had each knee scoped in addition to repairing the torn ACL and MCL in the right knee. The left knee, where he suffered a torn meniscus, is perhaps the more problematic of the two now, as it still swells on occasion for Britt.
Nonetheless, Britt says just being available from the start of the off-season work is a big plus for him.
"Last year, about this time, I was working on my ACL," Britt said. "It feels good, because I'm here from the beginning. I'm not jumping in at the end of camp or at the beginning of the season."
That is good because the Titans, according to Britt, have completed overhauled the playbook under offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
"I know there's a difference in the playbook," Britt said. "We've tossed out our whole playbook from last year and have a totally different new one. I'm excited about that, because there really wasn't that many mental mistakes out there like you would expect in the first days of OTAs."
--Earlier in the off-season, reports emerged that the Titans were shopping wide receiver Nate Washington. No trade came to pass, and Washington is back working with the Titans, even offering advice to younger receivers during practices.
The veteran receiver, not surprisingly, didn't want to talk much about the deal that never was.
"I don't get into all that. I'm here to work and do my job. I don't care who they bring in," Washington said. "That was a media thing. You guys, the media did that. I never even read anything about that. Whether it was told to me or not, that's a different story. But I don't read those types of things. I'm here to do my job. It's now the end of May and we're still being asked questions about that. So don't ask me anything else about who they brought in."
--Center Brian Schwenke is already being indoctrinated into the rigors of being an NFL rookie - namely catering to the veterans in the room, especially when it comes to food.
"It's a rookie thing. We've got to keep the snack table filled. There's a line that has to go to a certain height, and that can get expensive. They said, 'You're fat. Go to the store. You know what you like to eat.'" Schwenkie said. "There's everything you could possibly dream of - chips, chocolate-covered almonds, pretzels, candy bars, gum, sodas, Gatorade, water, Fruit Roll-ups, Gushers, everything."
--G Andy Levitre is out until final week of OTAs following a January knee scope.
--OT David Stewart is out until final week of OTAs as he recovers from a broken leg.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I pushed this pretty hard, so it's going to be a good couple of days off for me. But it's been a good couple of days for me. I didn't think I was gonna be here, so it's cool. I'm jacked." - WR Marc Mariani, coming back from a compound leg fracture last year.