Travis Benjamin got fast by chasing rabbits


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.