Benjamin displays 'stupid speed' on return

Posted Aug 8, 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Wide receiver Travis Benjamin had a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Cleveland Browns’ 27-19 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Speed. Vision. Elusiveness.

Those are key ingredients for any kick-returner to be successful, and Travis Benjamin showed them all on his 91-yard punt return in the Cleveland Browns’ 27-19 win over the St. Louis Rams in the preseason-opener at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday night.

“I saw an open opportunity,” Benjamin said. “Once I knew I had the edge, I trust my guys blocking for me. I knew if I got the edge, it would be a quick touchdown.”

After the Browns took a 10-0 lead on the Rams with Dion Lewis’ two-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brandon Weeden, the defense responded by forcing a three-and-out, which turned momentum squarely in the Browns’ favor.

Benjamin fielded the punt at the nine-yard line, sprinted to the far left side of the field and turned the corner on the Rams. Once he passed the 50-yard line, there were only brown jerseys surrounding him, and those teammates ushered him into the end zone.

“He’s got stupid speed,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said with a laugh. “That guy has a lot of ability. The guy can go. If he gets a crease, then, watch out. He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever been around.”

Weeden knows very well what Benjamin’s speed can do for the Browns. He threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin against the Washington Redskins last December.

“It’s nice throwing to him when you’ve got a nine-ball to him down the sideline or something, but you’ve got to let it rip because he can run,” Weeden said. “He’s a big-play threat. Special teams, offensively, he does a lot of good things to help us, as a team, put points on the board. You love it. That’s a spark. If we hit a lull there, that’s a momentum changer, and he’s willing to break one anytime. He’s got that kind of speed.”

Watching Benjamin return a punt for a touchdown was nothing new for coach Rob Chudzinski and his staff, as they had seen it on film. In his rookie year, Benjamin returned a punt a team-record 93 yards for a touchdown in a 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last December.

“He had a nice return last year,” Chudzinski said. “We felt good about him in the punt-return game. Obviously, he showed that tonight. He did a good job, and we had some really nice blocks on that return as well.”

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