Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 5:57pm
The Browns may have pulled a Rabbit out of a hat this season.
Receiver Travis Benjamin, a.k.a. The Rabbit, has quietly produced one of the best camps of all the wideouts this season, and is a virtual lock to the make the team after some folks had written him off.
In fact, coach Mike Pettine said Monday that the Browns are 'pretty set' with Benjamin as the lead punt returner, which pretty much secures a spot at the crowded receiver position.
And if Pettine asks for quarterback Josh McCown's input, he'll definitely get two thumbs up.
"Trav, he's a pro,'' McCown said after the first of two joint practices against the Bills here. "He just comes out and works hard, doesn't say a whole lot. He's got a great skillset as far as his speed. What Trav is doing really well right now is – you get a guy with speed like that a lot of time, but when the lights come on, either they play timid or they don't play at the high speed – Trav explodes off the ball every time we snap it, and because of that, he's using his speed to his advantage.
"It's causing space for him to get open, and that's why he's able to get balls. He's really doing a good job. Everybody's working really hard, but he's really helped us set a tone for how we're going to come off the football and work, and it's been cool to watch.''
Benjamin, entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, helped endear himself to McCown by waving his hand in the back of the end zone and catching a 2-yard touchdown pass against the Redskins. He's ranked way down our WR list, but with always a lot of turnover, and those who come and go at the position, he's another name to keep in mind perhaps later in the season.
Sunday, August 2, 2015, 2:40pm
It's not unreasonable to think that Browns WR Travis Benjamin came into training camp on the bubble. His days as the heir apparent as a return man took a hit in 2014. There are plenty of other small, quick guys on the roster -- though, to be fair to Benjamin, he towers over some of the other players in the receiver room with his 5-10 frame.
Sunday, he made a case that there's still room for him.
On its surface, it wasn't a day that's going to blow you away. Camp hasn't had many highlights to speak of regardless, but it was a day where Benjamin was something that can't be overstated in a receiver: reliable.
Here were the key plays from Benjamin:
- Josh McCown finds Benjamin deep.
- McCown quick throw to Benjamin in front of Pierre Desir.
- McCown finds Benjamin underneath.
- McCown goes over the top to Benjamin for 15+ yards.
The story said it's pretty much a numbers game as far as Cleveland's WRs, as you add Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline to Andrew Hawkins, plus Taylor Gabriel coming off of a strong rookie season, Vince Mayle coming in as a draft pick, plus guys like Rodney Smith and others trying to squeeze in, and, on top of that, Terrelle Pryor showing signs that maybe he can make the transition from quarterback to receiver. Someone has to get pushed out. Benjamin finds himself in with the group fighting for a spot. But it's worth noting that Benjamin was seeing time with the first team.
Saturday, December 27, 2014, 7:00pm
According to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, the Browns announced wideout Phil Bates has been ruled out of tomorrow’s game against the Ravens. It’s unclear why Bates won’t play, but the club did say it was not an injury-related decision, per the Beacon Journal. Bates did not accompany the club to Baltimore, according to the report.
With Gordon and Bates out, the Browns have five available receivers: Travis Benjamin, Taylor Gabriel, Andrew Hawkins, Marlon Moore and Rodney Smith. However, Hawkins is questionable with a thumb injury, though he did put in a limited practice on Friday after not practicing Wednesday. (The club had Thursday off.)
The story went on to say that Gordon and rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel were absent from the Browns' walk-through Saturday morning, and the team had trouble locating them, a source close to the team told ESPN's Pat McManamon. It officially ends a very disappointing season for Gordon and his owners. Gordon appeared in only five games this season. He missed the first 10 games while serving a league-issued suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Reports this year out of Browns camp said Gordon appeared lost on the field upon returning from his 10 game suspension. He's got a long way to go in terms of staying out of trouble before the start of the 2015 season and he's going to continue to be a risky own because of that.
Gordon also was late getting onto the practice field Friday and emerged from the team's facility for the outdoor workout wearing teammate Travis Benjamin's jersey.
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Browns WR Travis Benjamin (knee, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 3.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30pm
Browns WR Travis Benjamin (knee) took full practice reps again Thursday.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:07pm
Browns WRs Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, and Travis Benjamin are locks, while Nate Burleson is too valuable to release after Josh Gordon was suspended for the season by the NFL. Charles Johnson is attempting to hang onto his job under heavy pushes from undrafted rookies Taylor Gabriel and Willie Snead, with Marlon Moore a longshot.
Johnson has gotten a bit of hype as a potential sleeper with Josh Gordon out, but he's still fighting for a roster spot.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 6:47pm
Browns WR Travis Benjamin had a big day, catching a deep throw from QB Johnny Manziel and making several other catches. Benjamin is coming back from ACL surgery, and his role in the offense seems to be growing -- especially when Josh Gordon is out.
Manziel is trying to beat out Brian Hoyer for the starting job. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M had worked exclusively with Cleveland's second-string offense until Monday.
On his first play of 11-on-11 drills, Manziel completed a 40-yard pass to Travis Benjamin. The wide receiver came back to grab the underthrown ball. Moments later, Manziel's tipped pass intended for Josh Gordon was intercepted by safety Donte Whitner.
Browns coach Mike Pettine had promised he would give Manziel time with the first-unit offense, and he decided to do it as the team prepares for Saturday's exhibition opener in Detroit.
Reports yesterday said Manziel was closing the gap on Hoyer, but still other writers felt that was media driven and not really the case at all. It's not uncommon for a different QBs on the depth chart to get reps with the first team.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 10:31am
One of the NFL's most dangerous punt returners is done for the year. Browns return man Travis Benjamin will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL, coach Rob Chudzinski announced on Monday.
"Travis obviously is a big part of what we do and has been in terms of the return game," Chudzinski said. "It's a tough loss for us, but we'll have some guys step up."
The Browns D/ST has less upside with Benjamin done for the season. He was always a threat to bring one back.
Monday, October 28, 2013, 12:35pm
Benjamin's role was mostly as a punt returner and he will likely be replaced by Devone Bess.
Friday, September 13, 2013, 6:45pm
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 6:38pm
Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 7:00pm
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