Travis Benjamin aims to 'be better than last year'

Travis Benjamin is looking to improve upon a rookie season in which he caught 18 passes and returned one punt for a touchdown.

Travis Benjamin’s rookie highlight with the Cleveland Browns last season was a franchise-record, 93-yard punt return for a touchdown in a 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 9.

Now, the wide receiver/returner has his sights set on higher goals.

After 10 weeks of offseason workouts, Benjamin is focused on being “better than last year.”

“(I want) to be more productive, to be involved in the offense and special teams and to come out and have a great season,” Benjamin told “I worked on my route-running and continuing to run full speed.

“I want to be healthy coming into training camp, getting training camp over, start the season and look forward to a great season for the Cleveland Browns.”

Benjamin, who caught 18 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns (including a 69-yard score in a loss to the Washington Redskins Dec. 16), said he likes everything about the Browns’ offense under new coordinator Norv Turner and wide receivers coach Scott Turner.

“From the runs to the passes to the play-action to the gimmicks and gadgets they’ve got, everything is just well played out,” Benjamin said. “I really see myself doing big things in the offense.

“It’s a great tandem. Those guys are some great guys, and (Scott’s) father is so (much) like a legend, and he has his son. I’m pretty sure he grew up watching his father, so it kind of soaked into him like a sponge. They’re doing a great job.”

Like Benjamin for the Turners, quarterback Brandon Weeden had similar praise for the 5-foot-10, 175-pound receiver.

“Travis had at least as many catches, if not more, than anybody in camp,” Weeden said. “His route-running is phenomenal, and probably because he’s so fast. Guys have to honor him running behind them, so he’s able to get in and out of breaks so well. In-breaking routes or out-breaking routes, he’s really found a knack of getting separated and gives me a chance to complete some balls. He’s had a lot of catches this camp, and he stuck out.”

Within the offense is not the only place Benjamin is looking to stand out in 2013.

Following the departure of record-setting kick and punt returner Joshua Cribbs in free agency, Benjamin could see an increased role on special teams. He returned three kicks for 76 yards and three punts for 149 yards, including the 93-yard touchdown, last fall.

“When guys leave, certain guys have to stand up,” Benjamin said. “I’m the starting punt returner right now, so I’ve just got to get that punt return and everybody else on the same page.

“It’s a great position. It puts me in a position where I can show my skills because, on punt return, it’s all about speed and quickness. You see a hole, you see where you’ve got to go, you just hit it and it will be a big thing. Usually, if you make three or four guys miss, you usually get a touchdown.”

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