Benn becoming a force in the Bucs' passing attack
ot everybody can be Mike Williams. That's what Arrelious Benn, the wide receiver the Bucs selected two rounds ahead of their offensive rookie of the year candidate in this year's draft, kept hearing.
He heard it from his coaches and he heard it from other receivers, including one who told him repeatedly to just relax and the let the process play out.
The process, as Micheal Spurlock called it, has apparently played out, because suddenly, Benn has become a force in the Bucs' passing game. At least he was Sunday against the Falcons.
Benn caught just one pass, but it was a big one as he turned it into a 14-yard touchdown, his first as a pro and the first for the Bucs in what proved to be a 27-21 loss to the Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
"It feels good to be contributing,'' said Benn, who watched mostly from the sidelines while Williams established himself as the Bucs go-to wideout earlier in the year. "It was just a matter of getting comfortable with the offense and I've got that now,'' said Benn, who has looked especially comfortable in the Bucs' offense the last two weeks.
He caught a 53-yard pass that fell just inches short of a touchdown a week ago in the Bucs' victory over Arizona, and with his touchdown catch Sunday, he now has catches in each of the last six games. "He's another guy who's getting better and better every day,'' quarterback Josh Freeman said of Benn, a University of Illinois product whom the Bucs drafted in the second round in April.
"And he would have had another (touchdown Sunday) if I hadn't underthrown him,'' said Freeman, who underthrew Benn on a deep ball late in the game but got a critical pass interference penalty out of it.
Freeman also connected on a big play with Spurlock, who caught a 43-yard pass to help get the Bucs out from the shadow of their own goal line during a series early in the fourth quarter.
"I've been telling people the whole year that we have a good group of receivers here,'' said Williams, who caught a touchdown pass of his own Sunday, a 58-yarder that came off a quick slant he ran against an all-out blitz.
"We like to say that our position is the backbone of the offense,'' Williams said. "We want to be the backbone of the offense and I think we were the backbone today.'' Bucs receivers caught 10 of the 11 passes that Freeman completed Sunday and those completions went for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Bucs coach Raheem Morris said that's a sign the receiving corps is becoming a force.
"It's encouraging to see those guys doing well and contributing,'' he said. "They're a big part of what we're trying to do here, and it's good to see guys like Benn stepping up the way he is now.''
|About the writer|
Roy Cummings has been The Tampa Tribune's primary Buccaneer beat writer for many years now and has a knowledge of the current players that is unsurpassed amongst local reporters. He also appears on Channel 8's news broadcasts on stories about the Bucs. He came to London with the Buccaneers in 2009 and was at Richmond Park to be part of the Bucs UK's most memorable day when the club took on the UK Patriots at touch football in front of many Bucs alumni and club officials.