BEREA - Browns rookie receiver Travis Benjamin continues to show signs of progress as the first week of training camp nears an end.
Benjamin looks shorter than his listed height (5-foot-10) and lighter than his listed weight (175 pounds). Although he hasn't taken a direct hit, he's shown no fear of going across the middle.
Another positive sign for the fourth-round draft pick out of Miami (Fla.) has been his ability to beat press coverage. He uses quickness more than strength to get by cornerbacks that are determined to disrupt and delay his release into his route.
"I don't know (if he's done) more than I expected," coach Pat Shurmur said. "I anticipated with his natural size he might get banged around. He's done a great job. He handles the traffic pretty well, and you could see today he caught the ball in contested situations extremely well. We knew he has the skill and ability to play in this league. At least to this point he's doing a good job of improving his game."
Benjamin takes the crafty approach to beating a physical cornerback at the line of scrimmage.
"You have to know your defender," he said. "Playing against Joe Haden, Buster Skrine and D. (Dimitri) Patterson, it's all about who's going to be physical and who's going to try to speed with you. You have to know the game."
MORE LINE WOES: It hasn't been a good camp health-wise for the defensive line. Tackle Phil Taylor is out for at least the first half of the season with a torn pectoral. Tackle Ahtyba Rubin has yet to practice after undergoing surgery to repair a slight pelvis tear. Now end Frostee Rucker is sidelined with a minor injury.
Shurmur didn't give specifics about the injury. Rucker walked without a limp Wednesday and is expected back on the field soon.
DIFFERENT TYPES: Rookie defensive tackles John Hughes and Billy Winn have caught Shurmur's attention. Scott Paxson is likely to start in place of Taylor, but Hughes and Winn have opportunities to land playing time early in the season.
Shurmur looks at Winn as a better pass rusher, while he envisions Hughes being stronger against the run.
MORE INSTALL: The emphasis Wednesday was on the red zone. Shurmur was pleased with the young defensive backs and the defensive tackles.
Among the offensive standouts was second-year tight end Jordan Cameron, who caught a touchdown pass from Colt McCoy in 7-on-7 and a touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden in 11-on-11.
GONE FOR AWHILE: Fullback Eddie Williams continues to miss time with an undisclosed injury. Shurmur said that Williams won't be back for some time.
GOING CAMPING: Weeden and McCoy each threw two touchdown passes in the first 11-on-11 red zone drill. McCoy completed touchdown passes to Dan Gronkowski, Bert Reed and Cameron in 7-on-7 red zone work. Safety Usama Young intercepted McCoy at the end of 7-on-7. McCoy threw a perfect pass to Joshua Cribbs, who broke open on a post route in the final 11-on-11 session Weeden threw the ball behind Greg Little on a deep route along the sideline. Linebacker Chris Gocong had his hands on what should have been an interception of a Weeden pass. Weeden still shows a tendency to try to fit the ball into tight spots.