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Benjamin embraces role as 'next man up'

Posted Sep 5, 2013

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin has embraced the role of “next man up” in the team’s pass-catching corps.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin is looking forward to hearing his name called to enter Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

With second-year wide receiver Josh Gordon serving a league-mandated two-game suspension, Benjamin is ready to make an impact for the offense.

“It’s the next-man-up mentality,” Benjamin said. “We know that if I’m in or (Davone Bess) is in, when the ball comes our way, make the best opportunity we get. Josh is a great player. Anytime he’s on the field, he’s a big target for us. We had to get him out of the game plan and go in, me or Davone, and just be the next man up to play (well).

“It’s a great opportunity for me, knowing that I’m the next man up. I’m just going in there to take advantage of the plays I’m in, and hopefully, I’ll come out and play well.”

Last season, Benjamin showed an ability to spread the field against opposing defenses by using his speed. The 5-foot-10 Benjamin averaged 16.6 yards over 18 receptions, including a long catch of 69 yards for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 16, 2012.

Although Benjamin feels his speed will help him get behind most defenders he will draw, he also knows it will take more than quickness to make an impact against the Dolphins. That is why he has turned to former Miami, and current Browns receiver, Davone Bess, for guidance during the offseason and throughout training camp.

“They have a pretty aggressive group, quick guys who like to jam,” Benjamin said. “We’ve just got to go out there, read keys, and take advantage of the opportunities we have. It’s all about technique. It’s all about the little things. We don’t want to play into their advantage. We just want to go out there and play our football. Whether it’s a deep one early, late or in the middle, every play called, just take advantage of it.

“(I’ve improved) on my route techniques, getting in and out of my breaks because of my speed, and going out there and keeping my balance on the field. (Bess) is a great (teacher). He’ll tell you how you run this route, or an out-route. He’s great on the inside-option route, so he’ll teach you the techniques and things you can do for it.”