Friday, October 25, 2013
Chiefs need to contain Benjamin this time
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The first thing Dave Toub did in the Kansas City Chiefs’ special teams meeting this week was put on a video clip of Cleveland’s Travis Benjamin returning a punt 93 yards for a touchdown in a game last season.
Toub, the Chiefs special teams coordinator, might have played the clip anyway. But it really captured the attention of the players covering punts because it happened against the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have gone through a lot of turnover since last year and won’t have many of the same players covering punts on Sunday, when the Chiefs and Browns play one another at Arrowhead Stadium.
But Benjamin is still doing what he does. He returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 86 yards this season.
The Browns figure to need a big play or two from Benjamin, given that the Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring defense and the Browns, who benched starting quarterback Brandon Weeden this week, are 26th in scoring.
So letting Benjamin loose, as they did last season, might be the thing to tip Sunday’s game to the Browns. The Chiefs have done a nice job of covering both kickoffs and punts this season, but Benjamin might be the best returner the Chiefs have faced.
One player who covers punts for the Chiefs is linebacker James-Michael Johnson. He was a teammate of Benjamin’s last season with the Browns.
"He’s probably the fastest guy I’ve ever played with," Johnson said. "He’s more of a straight-line guy but he can make a cut if he needs to. But the thing about him is that he’s fast. We can’t let him out in the open, bottom line."