Benn Seeks Fresh Start: ‘I Don’t Like My Career’

Arrelious Benn’s career had been going down a promising path.

He was a five-star recruit out of high school, showed off his versatile skill set at Illinois and got selected in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Bucs.

But since arriving to the NFL, he hasn’t lived up to expectations, totaling just 59 catches and 862 receiving yards in three seasons. Now, the 24-year-old is excited about getting a new start.

“If I’m being honest with you, I don’t like my career,” Benn said today. “I’ve got to stay healthy. I haven’t stayed healthy. I’ve had a problem with injuries. When I was healthy and out there, I made plays. I was consistent. But the big thing for me is to stay healthy. It’s no secret for me, I know that. I’m going to be honest with myself. Just come in here and do what I’ve got to do.”

Benn (6-2, 220) suffered an MCL sprain last year and only appeared in eight games before landing on IR. In 2011, he tore his ACL and missed the final two games. Benn pointed out that injuries were never an issue for him in college and said he’s 100 percent healthy right now.

Asked for a self-scouting report, Benn said, “Physical, a guy that gets the ball in my hands and can run after the catch.”

As we pointed out in the All-22 breakdown last week, the numbers back that up. Per Pro Football Focus, he averaged 6.6 yards after the catch in 2011, 11th in the NFL. And as a rookie, that number was 6.3, which was tied for sixth.

Benn hasn’t been given much information about his potential role yet. He was effective on special-teams coverage in Tampa, and even though he didn’t do much as a return man there, he could get an opportunity here to do that.

Although he doesn’t have the hands of Jason Avant, Benn, who is a good blocker, thinks he can be effective in the slot.

“I think I have the skill set to play both [inside and outside],” he said. “I think I’m a mismatch in the slot with my speed and size. We’re going to see where I fit in, and I’m going to go with it.”

Asked if he was expecting to be moved, Benn said, “I was expecting it. I’m not going to lie, I was expecting it. I wanted to move forward. I didn’t want to be there.

“I just needed a change of scenery. I just needed a fresh start. The situation just wasn’t going right. That’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Benn signed a one-year extension today that keeps him under contract with the Eagles through 2014.

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  • Bdawk20

    Wish him luck – he has the talent, hope CK can bring out the best in him.

  • Graham

    Lets hope he can get back to that potential he had coming out of college, if so that is a HUGE steal

    • Septhinox

      It’s very possible. Worse case, a lost low draft pick. Great value.

      • Graham

        Exactly… worst case a lost 2014 pick as the 7th and 6th were swapped… Howie saw huge value and pulled trigger. He has so far proven this offseason that he is capable. HAVING SAID THAT we need to wait to see the product on the field lol.. something tells me the last 2 years Ive told myself that………

  • Lukekelly65

    its really good to hear him say hes 100% healthy i think this guy could turn out to be something for us Im not saying hes going to be a stater but i really feel like there is a place for this guy on the roster i know the team has alot of good WRs but i hope he makes the team and contributes

    • Graham

      Agreed, at the least we can see him taking McNutts spot….

      • Lukekelly65

        yeah i could see that im not sure if i want to completely count McNutt out because he is a young guy with good size ( 6’4 ) and he was good at Iowa i think hes still able to stay on the practice squad to but im not sure about that but atleast there will be good competition all the way down the depth chart that can only make them a better team

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    Pretty overrated player coming out of HS due to inferior competition within the District of Columbia. Bucs took him too high after a so-so career at Illinois. Meh.

    • The Westbrook brothers came out of DC High School and both were pretty productive players in the NFL.

      • HowieDon’tKnow

        No, they were from Maryland. Westbrook played at DeMatha, a great program in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. The WCAC has great teams.

  • Rick H

    This guy can pretty good but he has to stay healthy as stated. It is really strange that certain guys are “injury prone”. Injuries that keep them off the practice and game field. I hope the Eagles and Benn get a break and he stays healthy. He would definitely produce!

  • eagles456

    Is it just me or is Kelly counting a little too much on being able to keep oft-injured players healthy? Seems like most of his FA signings have a history of injury (but i guess that’s how you get them cheap). Combine that with how beat up our injury prone O-line / QB and i think it could be a recipe for disaster.

    • southy

      It’s all in the sports science. With a new diet and 10-12 hours of sleep a night, Benn is going to be a new man!

  • Warhound

    The ruptured ACL was late in 2011; that could have easily contributed to the MCL strain last year. He could easily be fine.

    • Steag209

      That’s what I was thinking. No way should a skill player in football (unless you’re AD) return from an ACL injury less than a minimum of 12 months. Obviously everyone heals differently, but with all the exact cutting required out of a WR, only basketball surpasses the amount of stop and go required, and DRose is still not back from his tear from over a year ago

      • Warhound

        Well, 21 days late….. Yeah, I ruptured my ACL in Nov of 1999; I competed in August of 2000 bit I wasn’t fully recovered till maybe Feb of 2001.

  • ICDogg

    Needs to work on his hands catching the ball, rather than body catching. But once he has the ball in his hands he can do a lot with it.

  • PaoliBulldog

    No risk move. Eagles have been trying for years to find an effective big receiver: Baskett, Cooper, McNutt. Maybe Benn can figure it out in Philly.

  • Roberto Duran

    I like everything about this kid except one thing. The dude struggles catching the ball. I call him “Manos de Piedra”, Hand of Stone.