It's easy to take note of
"I've always had it. I've took a liking to blocking, doing the dirty work. I don't know. I just like to hit," Benn said. "Maybe it came from playing in the Big 10, having to block those big linebackers."
Benn played at Illinois where head coach Ron Zook's passing attack never quite flourished. Still, Benn accumulated 121 receptions for 1,731 yards in his first two seasons. Benn became just the fourth player in school history to amass 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
Benn had just 38 catches for 490 yards as a junior, but decided to leave for the NFL. The size and talent was good enough to make Benn a second-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2010. He had 55 catches for five touchdowns in his first two seasons, but injuries limited him to four catches in eight games last season. The Eagles traded for Benn this offseason it's been "a blessing" for the Washington D.C. native who grew up following the NFC East.
"It's a chance for me to start all over, stay healthy, understand what I need to do," Benn said. "It's a blessing to be here, be close to home and play in a great division."
Head coach Chip Kelly's offense provides an opportunity for Benn to maximize his potential. Benn is a physical receiver who can play in space. Kelly's offense is adept at getting players in space.
"I embrace it. I use my size. If I didn't, I would be a popcorn," Benn said. "I use my size to my ability, I use what I have to my ability and do it the best way I can.
"Maybe I have a defensive mentality playing offense. I have that tenacious mentality. I don't know if it's how I grew up, but I always had it."
And Kelly demands that his receivers block. Plus, this offense teaches the wideouts to learn all of the receiver positions which Benn has never had to do before.
"Honestly, it makes you a better player because you understand the game," Benn said. "You understand what's going on. You can be lined up in any place on the field and you know what to do."
Training Camp begins in late July. Benn will have the chance to show whether he's going to make the most of this second chance. For Benn, the situation could not be more ideal.
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