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Travis Benjamin got fast by chasing rabbits

Travis AP

In Rocky II, the title character builds speed by chasing a chicken.  Browns receiver Travis Benjamin took on an even bigger challenge to help hone his speed.

Benjamin maximized his speed and agility by chasing rabbits.

He did it while growing up in Florida, catching them as they escaped burning cane field.

“When you burn the cane, the rabbits are going to scatter out,” Benjamin tells the team’s official website.  “When you see the rabbits scatter out, you go chase them.  I saw a guy catch at least 60 or 70 in a day, and he was out there by himself.  It was some local guy, and for fun, he’d just go out there and catch them all.

“When I was growing up, it used to be a thing.  We have a tradition that we’d go out there and catch rabbits.  I caught 20 in one day before.  There’s nothing to it once you know the tendencies, what the rabbit’s going to do, when they’re going to come out.  It’s a great feeling.  It’s just about going out there and having fun with it.”

Now, Benjamin is the rabbit, running with the ball on punt returns.  He set a franchise single-game record with 179 yards nine days ago.  And his teammates call him “The Rabbit.”

“I had been fortunate to be around some guys that were really fast,” coach Rob Chudzinski said.  “I know Travis’ nickname is ‘The Rabbit,’ so you don’t need to say much more in terms of where he would rank with those guys.  But when you grow up chasing rabbits, you’re going to be pretty fast, and he is.”

He’ll get another chance on Sunday to use his God-given and rabbit-aided abilities on Sunday, when the Browns host a team named for an animal that knows a thing or two about devouring rabbits.

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35 Responses to “Travis Benjamin got fast by chasing rabbits”
  1. pigskin28 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:35 PM

    Greatest thing I ever read.

  2. nfloracle says: Oct 12, 2013 4:36 PM

    Logicalvoice chased snipes when he was a kid. Never caught one, but he sure tried. Now he’s going after Daniel Snyder. Might catch him. Might not.

  3. redfield11 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:37 PM

    Training of champions

  4. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 12, 2013 4:37 PM

    C.J. Memphis

  5. uscoach says: Oct 12, 2013 4:44 PM

    The animal rights people are going to be up in arms over this one

  6. sdsupersean says: Oct 12, 2013 4:45 PM

    They’re playing the Elmer Fudds?

  7. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: Oct 12, 2013 4:49 PM

    Santonio Holmes did as well.

  8. captainwisdom8888 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:50 PM

    I remember one year, I believe it was sometime during the pro bowl, the NFL actually had an unofficial competition to see who ran the fastest in the NFL. I think it was CB Allen Rossum that took the crown that year. I’d like to see something like this happen again and if I had to throw a few guesses out there as to who are the very fastest players in the game today, I would probably go with DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson, Mike Wallace, and my sleeper pick has to be the former Gator and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps. All these guys must have been bunny-hungry growing up…

  9. eaglesnoles05 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:56 PM

    He’s. Got. Get away from the Cops Speed!

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 12, 2013 4:58 PM

    hines ward chased stray dogs with a knife and a bottle of hot sauce.

  11. wearethesteelers says: Oct 12, 2013 4:59 PM

    pigskin28 says:
    Oct 12, 2013 4:35 PM
    Greatest thing I ever read.
    __________________

    No offense, but you must not read much.

  12. ericb028 says: Oct 12, 2013 5:00 PM

    I read a similar story a few years back in SI and it featured an article about how guys like Anquan Boldin and Reggie Wayne did the same thing so I see they have passed the torch.

  13. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 12, 2013 5:10 PM

    captainwisdom8888 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:50 PM

    I remember one year, I believe it was sometime during the pro bowl, the NFL actually had an unofficial competition to see who ran the fastest in the NFL. I think it was CB Allen Rossum that took the crown that year. I’d like to see something like this happen again and if I had to throw a few guesses out there as to who are the very fastest players in the game today, I would probably go with DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson, Mike Wallace, and my sleeper pick has to be the former Gator and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps. All these guys must have been bunny-hungry growing up…

    _________________________

    Devin Hester would leave them in the dust.

  14. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 12, 2013 5:16 PM

    Tim Tebow chased angels when he was a kid.

  15. kingmj4891 says: Oct 12, 2013 5:25 PM

    Big Ben chased women when he was a kid.

  16. axman72 says: Oct 12, 2013 5:35 PM

    In my best Rocky voice… “I feel like a Kentucky Fried idiot”

  17. scottpavek says: Oct 12, 2013 5:45 PM

    If I never need to know “the tendencies of rabbits,” I will call Travis Benjamin.

  18. fumblenuts says: Oct 12, 2013 5:49 PM

    And his teammates call him “The Rabbit.”

    Watch out for the Elmer Fudds chasing you down…

  19. pigskin28 says: Oct 12, 2013 5:49 PM

    [quote]wearethesteelers says: Oct 12, 2013 4:59 PM

    pigskin28 says:
    Oct 12, 2013 4:35 PM
    Greatest thing I ever read.
    __________________

    No offense, but you must not read much.[/quote]

    It’s called hyperbole son. If you read enough you’d know it’s modus operandi here.

  20. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 12, 2013 5:53 PM

    “To catch a rabbit… you have to think like a rabbit”

    – Elmer Fudd

  21. Stiller43 says: Oct 12, 2013 5:58 PM

    Old story. A bunch of guys in the league who grew up there have already told it a few years back

  22. seahawkgoat says: Oct 12, 2013 6:01 PM

    Aaron Hernandez chased the dragon when he was a little kid

  23. sbmcintosh36 says: Oct 12, 2013 6:04 PM

    Old news we’ve heard this story for 20 years and my question is still the same .. why the hell didn’t they keep running? ??
    If you’ve ever been to the lake okeechobee area you’d ask the same, the only thing good to every come from there are football players and Roland Martin’s old fishing show .

  24. changeup39 says: Oct 12, 2013 6:10 PM

    Tim Tebow is still chasing angels

  25. deeceefan says: Oct 12, 2013 6:11 PM

    Which way did he go George?

  26. ghostofgilchrist says: Oct 12, 2013 6:17 PM

    And if you go chasing rabbits
    And you know you’re going to fall
    Tell ‘em a hookah smoking caterpillar
    Has given you the call

  27. boknowsvt says: Oct 12, 2013 6:24 PM

    I wonder if he’s eating lightning and crapping thunder yet?

  28. bensstinkyfingers says: Oct 12, 2013 6:27 PM

    Although Suh, and Fairley look like they could smash 30 rabbits in one sitting, they won’t be catching benjamin unless one of their teammates has him stacked up. Look for the Dawgs to tame the Motor City Kittys to the tune of 27-17 tomorrow.

  29. blue18hutthutt says: Oct 12, 2013 6:39 PM

    Imagine how much faster he’d be if he’d cut that damn hair

    For such a little dude that’s way too much hair

  30. chief67 says: Oct 12, 2013 7:23 PM

    When he catches said rabbits , does he eat them ?

  31. pike573 says: Oct 12, 2013 7:49 PM

    Muck City

  32. vickspreadherpes says: Oct 12, 2013 8:05 PM

    Vick got fast by chasing Pit Bulls down because he enjoyed inflicting pain as he laughed, torturing to get his kicks. Everyone needs a carrot at the end of the stick.

  33. contract says: Oct 12, 2013 8:10 PM

    “and my sleeper pick has to be the former Gator and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps.”

    captainwisdom8888: You want to have a fastest man in the NFL competition and the Olympic sprinter is your sleeper pick? lol! He’d be the favorite to win.

    Also Trindon Holliday would have to be part of the competition.

  34. ashutto20 says: Oct 12, 2013 8:48 PM

    only rabbit I know is b rabbit…now everybody from the 313…

  35. drewzducks says: Oct 13, 2013 10:11 PM

    I didn’t realize he was ten feet tall

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