After a year on the couch, Houston Texans center Justin Britt is hungry to be back and to succeed.
A six-year starter for the Seattle Seahawks, Britt was a mainstay before a torn ACL sidelined him for half of the 2019 season, and ultimately cost him his job.
Now back in the league, Britt spoke on Thursday of his excitement.
"I've been out of football since October 2019 and ever since I hurt my knee I've been itching to get back and sitting out last year just wasn't for me," said Britt. "I'm not ready to be done. I wasn't ready to retire and be done it. It was great family time, forever thankful for that but I wasn't ready to be done. I'm hungry, enthusiastic and happy to be here."
And it would appear that since his re-entry into the day-to-day of footballing life, his passion for the game has also been sparked.
"Being here somewhere new, get to go work with (James) Campen and all these guys, getting to work with Tyrod (Taylor), new quarterback, new running backs, it's rejuvenated my love and my enthusiasm for the game," said Britt.
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One of the first signings by general manager Nick Caserio after his arrival earlier this year, Britt has had time to soak up the playbook and fully prepare himself for his debut season with the Texans.
And seemingly this extra time has done Britt a world of good.
"I'm light years ahead of where I was in the spring with the playbook, my confidence level has sky rocked," said Britt. "Me and Tyrod (Taylor) are working together and bouncing off each other, I’m able to communicate with the guys up front and honestly it's like I never felt and I've felt the best I've felt in numerous years."
If Britt is indeed back to somewhere near his former best then he could prove to be one of Houston's best signings this year. A proven veteran, Super Bowl starter, and former Pro Bowl alternate, Britt's driven less by personal recognition and more by being a quality teammate.
"I feel like I've been doubted my whole career just because I bounce around, I feel like I'm overlooked," said Britt. "I don't care about Pro Bowl. I think that's a popularity contest. I'm just here to win. I'm just here to play for my kids, have fun, be here for Tytus (Howard), be here for LT (Laremy Tunsil), be here for all the dudes, be here for Max (Scharping), (Justin) McCray, everybody."
With Britt happy, healthy and reinvigorated, Houston's offensive line might just get an unexpected boost.
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