Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - Cleveland Browns receiver Travis Benjamin was named ‘AFC Special Teams Player of the Week’ Wednesday.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that I can be nominated for such an [award],” Benjamin said.
Benjamin returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown, which surpassed the previous franchise record of 92 set by Eric Metcalf in 1994, during Sunday’s 30-7 blowout of the Chiefs. It was also the first time that a Browns rookie returned a punt for a touchdown since Ben Davis in 1967.
“It’s a tremendous honor and I’m sure he’s happy to receive that and to be a part of a winning effort,” coach Pat Shurmur said.
Benjamin switched spots with Josh Cribbs right before the return, which was initially designed to be a punt block, in the 2nd quarter which gave the Browns a 10-7 lead.
“It was a great scheme,” Benjamin said. “We still have Cribbs back there and it’s his job. He’s a great returner but it was a scheme we [tried] and it was executed well.
“Hopefully if we’re back there again they’ll just kick it to me instead of kicking it to Cribbs.”
Despite the touchdown Shurmur isn’t switching returners anytime soon.
“I think they both can be very effective,” Shurmur said. “Of course, Josh is not the fastest guy in the world and never really has been, but he’s found a way to run back kicks, quite a few in his career. Travis is extremely fast. They add different elements to the return game.”
Benjamin is the first Browns rookie to receive the honor since Andre’ Davis in Week 8 of the 2002 season. He is also the first Brown to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors since Joshua Cribbs in Week 2 of the 2011 season.