|Both Kenny Britt (18) and Jason McCourty (30) played at Rutgers, just a short drive from New Meadowlands Stadium.|
The former Rutgers stars played in front of more than 50 family members in the old Meadowlands stadium a year ago when the Tennessee Titans lost that game to the New York Jets.
Now they are visiting the New Meadowlands Stadium to play the New York Giants on Sunday.
"Last year I was real excited to get in the game and do some things and make some plays,'' Britt said. "This year I'm real calm and focused on what we've got to do this week to get a win.''
Britt left Rutgers after his junior season to enter the 2009 NFL Draft and was selected by the Titans with the No. 18 overall pick. The receiver was the first player from Rutgers ever taken in the first round.
The Titans also grabbed his Rutgers teammate McCourty in the sixth round with the 203rd pick.
The rookies went back home during Week 3 last season and it wasn't pretty against the Jets, as the Titans slogged through an 0-6 start. Britt made four catches for 59 yards in front of 45 friends and family. He wound up leading Tennessee for the season with 701 yards receiving.
McCourty was busy that day on special teams with three tackles before injury pushed him onto the field at cornerback.
"Last year I think it was a bigger deal,'' McCourty said. "I had a lot of family and friends wanting to come to the game. This year, with my brother also being in the league he played there last weekend, so I don't have as many family and friends hitting me up for tickets so that's a plus.''
His identical twin brother, Devin, was selected in the first round by the New England Patriots this year. The McCourty brothers played in the secondary together for Rutgers, sticking close to their Nyack, N.Y., home when they headed off to college. Jason left college a year ahead of his brother, who redshirted.
That's why Jason McCourty is busy scrounging up 10 tickets instead of 20 like he did a year ago, but he can't wait to see the new stadium.
"It should be fun just as a football fan just to go to the new football stadium and be able to play in it,'' said McCourty, who splits his time between Nashville and Nanuet, N.Y.
He's going back as the Titans' starting cornerback opposite Cortland Finnegan. Safety Michael Griffin said McCourty will be much more prepared.
"This time he has a lot on his side going into this game,'' Griffin said Thursday. "That's home-field advantage for him. He's used to everything. He's probably seen everything growing up as a kid, and he's going into this game with a lot of confidence because I'm sure there's going to be a lot of friends and family watching him.''
Britt is getting only 10 tickets for family to watch the Bayonne, N.J., native. He noted he has a 1-year-old son and another child on the way, so he can't afford to be as generous this time around.
Loyalties will be split Sunday, and Britt warns that plenty of people will be wearing Giants' blue hats paired with his No. 18 Titans' jersey.
"It's really special to me because all the people at home that want to see me in a game live instead of on TV can see me there. This year they've got to pay for their ticket,'' Britt said.
They aren't the only Titans (1-1) who will be looking around the new stadium. Kerry Collins played quarterback for the Giants (1-1) between 1999 and 2003, including their 2000 Super Bowl loss. Now he's backing up Vince Young even though he came off the bench to finish off last week's 19-11 loss to Pittsburgh.
"I certainly have a lot of great memories for the old Giants' Stadium. I know they've done it first class. I know the Mara family and the whole organization. Everything they do is first class. I expect nothing less from the stadium,'' Collins said.
NOTES: DT Tony Brown (right knee) did not practice again but is expected to play Sunday. DE Jacob Ford (right leg) did not practice, and neither did OT Mike Otto (right knee). ... Titans coach Jeff Fisher was asked about New York's bedbug epidemic and if he had discussed the issue with his team. "No. Thanks for bringing it up though,'' Fisher said.