FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Wide receiver Kenny Britt has been with the New England Patriots for just over a week, and he’s still settling in. On Wednesday, the 29-year-old native of Bayonne, New Jersey, spent some one-on-one time during the media-access period and touched on a number of topics.
You signed on a Wednesday and caught your first pass on Sunday. How much did that make you feel part of it right off the bat?
Britt: Real excitement. There were a lot of emotions running through my body. From the first day I got here, it’s been high ever since.
What was it about the Patriots that made you want to be a part of?
Britt: It’s kind of crazy because throughout my career, I always had my sights on here and playing with the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. And a head coach we have, and how they run the organization, it’s similar to what we did at Rutgers with Greg Schiano. I believe why you call this place here ‘Rutgers’ second home.’ Those guys do a lot of things similar here with their structure and being disciplined, and guys focusing on what needs to be done, and knowing and understanding this is a job and we need all guys in the building to win a championship, or even to win a game. Not one person can do it. That’s what they preached at Rutgers. That’s what they’re preaching here.
I was told that you mentioned to your agent, ‘I don’t care about the money, just get me to New England.’ Does that sound right?
Britt: At this point of my career, it had nothing to do with money or trying to get that contract again. The times I had a chance to get here, it was more of a financial decision for me and my family, where I was at in life. To have this decision again, it's not about the financial part and instead on what’s the best fit for me.
You mentioned your family ...
Britt: My wife, Sabrina, we’ve been married for five years going on six, have been together for 10 years. We met at Rutgers and have been inseparable since. We have two kids – Ava is turning 7 [Thursday], and we have a son [Kenzo] who turns 2 on January 23rd. They’re in Cleveland right now.
What has been the toughest part of the playbook?
Britt: Everything, to tell you the truth. It has to do with lining up and being in different positions, which I haven’t done in my whole career. I was always just one position, the ‘X’ position. Here, they have me moving all around. It’s making things more complicated but it’s helping me learn the playbook faster than just being in one spot.
Kenny Britt held court with reporters today. Among other things, he said one challenge of playing with the Patriots is learning all WR spots. He had only played the X with previous teams. pic.twitter.com/aP4apKKSAK— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 20, 2017
What have been your impressions of working closely with Tom Brady?
Britt: A guy that builds confidence into his players. That’s real big, especially for a wide receiver that just hasn’t had that confidence coming from that position. That makes you go out there and play at your maximum level of ability knowing that this guy, regardless, believes in you. So you believe in yourself a little bit more. That goes around in the locker room, with the offense and everybody else. The things you do, even just small, they build you up on it and let you know ‘Hey, good job.’ That builds everyone’s confidence that we’re doing something right.
New Browns general manager John Dorsey had some harsh remarks about you from your brief time with the Browns. What are your thoughts on what he said?
Britt: Of course I have some thoughts about it, but that’s something I can’t change his thoughts about me. His thoughts about me doesn’t really matter at this point in my life. I’ve moved on and I’m here right now.
You had some troubles off the field early in your career, but not in recent years. Was there a certain point that you remember being a turnaround for you?
Britt: Coming into the league, 20 years old, and not having the right structure around me, and the discipline I needed that had got me throughout college ... the format of how they ran it, the structure of how we deal with our time, I broke away from that. Especially as a young guy coming up and having nothing, then having all this money, and not really knowing what to do, being around people I shouldn’t have been around. I took the wrong pieces, even from great players, who were doing the wrong thing and it caught up to them. The real factor was after my daughter was born. Things slowed down. Then I’d say after I tore my ACL in 2011, that was my third year, I believe two years after that I started thinking, ‘You’re not Superman out there. You can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing out there these last three-four years.’ Everything now is focused on my family. Outside of football, if it doesn’t have to do with my family, I’m not even worried about it. My focus is making sure their future is secured. My wife is always talking about what I’m going to do after, and she wants me to be a coach somewhere. I’m like, ‘The only people I want to coach is my kids.’ Football takes so much out of you. The time that we really don’t get to spend, that we would if we had a normal job, 9-to-5 -- my wife understands that. After that, I just want to spend all my time with them.