Travis Benjamin expects to return kickoffs vs. Miami

BEREA, Ohio -- Travis Benjamin is prepared for triple duty against the Dolphins.

The Browns' second-year receiver revealed Thursday that he expects to return kickoffs in addition to his punt return chores and sharing time with receiver Davone Bess in place of Josh Gordon.

"I don't know about the opening kick, but hopefully I'll be back there,'' said Benjamin. "Right now we're going through the schemes of the kickoff the Dolphins have. It depends on what they come out with.''

Johnson Bademosi is listed first on the depth chart at kick returner, but coach Rob Chudzinski said Benjamin and Buster Skrine, who was added to the injury report Thursday with a shoulder injury and was limited, can also handle the chore. New running backs Bobby Rainey and Dennis Johnson have also been working there.

"I'm in great shape,'' said Benjamin, a diminutive 5-10, 175. "I know I can return kickoffs, punts and play offense. I'm just ready to go out there and play.''

He said he didn't know if he'd be the first man up on kickoff returns. He returned a punt 91 yards for a TD in preseason and took one back a team-record 93 yards last season.

"It's really not a first-team (thing),'' he said. "It's kind of a scheme thing, knowing how they kick the ball, where the placement of the ball is. We'll just go in there and figure out what type of scheme they're in and we'll just rotate in.''

He said the three-pronged role is not too much for him, and that he doesn't let his size be a factor.

"I've done it plenty of times before,'' he said.

As a senior at the University of Miami, Benjamin returned 25 kickoffs for 592 yards and a 23.7-yard average. He returned 11 punts for 121 yards that year and caught 41 passes for 609 yards and three touchdowns.

The Browns kept Benjamin largely off the grid during preseason, but they'll be counting on him and Bess to make the kind of big plays that Gordon would make if he weren't suspended two games.

"They have to,'' said offensive coordinator Norv Turner. "We've worked on all the things that we’re going to do with them and they’ve been practicing at a high level. It's been great to have Davone back. He not only missed those games, he missed quite a bit of practice. He's a veteran player, he can handle it. It's still making sure he’s on the same page with Brandon (Weeden). Those guys just have to step up and make the plays that are there for them.''

Benjamin, one of the two fastest Browns along with Skrine, said he doesn't think any of the Dolphins' corners could beat him in a footrace.

"I wouldn't say that,'' he said. "(But) they have some pretty quick guys and it's all about technique and all about the little things.''

He said he and Bess are excited to fill in for Gordon.

"Yes, it's kind of the 'next man up' mentality,'' he said. "We know when the ball comes our way, just take advantage of the opportunity. Josh is a great player. He's a big target for us. We just have to get him out of the gameplan and me and Davone have to be the next man up to go and play well.''

He said it's not imperative to hit a big play early.

"No, not really,'' he said. "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.''

He said he's most improved in route-running since his rookie year, when he caught 18 balls for 298 yards and two TDs, including a long of 69.

"(It's) getting in and out of my breaks because of my speed and going out there and keeping my advantage on the field,'' he said.

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