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'Rejuvenated' Jaguars WR Arrelious Benn finally feels like he can thrive

From ESPN - August 12, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Arrelious Benn almost cant believe how good his body feels. Even a week into training camp the Jacksonville Jaguars veteran receiver felt fresh and full of energy.

Its a strange feeling, one he doesnt remember having in his NFL career.

I am definitely rejuvenated, Benn said recently. I just feel totally different than I did last year -- and I thought I felt good last year, but I feel a lot different this year. I am coming back and I am becoming myself, my old self.

This was the first offseason Benn has had in which he hasnt had to rehab an injury, and that has helped him finally feel like he can thrive. It may not be the role he envisioned when he was drafted in the second round in 2010 by Tampa Bay, but after seven frustrating seasons Benn will take being a special teams stalwart and contributor on offense.

I look at it as be the guy that goes out there and makes plays, Benn said. Be the X factor. Whether it's special teams or offense, I look at myself to just be an X factor; go in there and be a game-changer.

Coach Doug Marrone views Benn as a key part of the Jaguars plans in 2017 and uses Benn as an example to the younger players of how a professional football player should approach the game, prepare and perform. Marrone compares Benn to former New Orleans linebacker Sam Mills, who unselfishly played special teams during his career despite being a five-time Pro Bowler.

Marrone sees that kind of leadership from Benn.

I think the one guy who comes to mind [as an example of Mills leadership] for just a quick statement would be Arrelious Benn, the way he goes about his business, said Marrone, who was teammates with Mills in 1989. He does the same at receiver. He does the same at special teams. He goes about his business, and I think thathe has done an outstanding job. Im extremely happy with the way he goes about his business as a pro, especially from the [special] teams standpoint and obviously on the offensive standpoint.

Benns biggest contribution in 2017 will be on special teams, where the Jaguars believe he can be one of the leagues better players. It didnt take Benn long to show the kind of impact he can make. In the preseason opener against New England, he lined up as a gunner on the punt team, raced down the field and tackled returner Cyrus Jones for no gain on the Jaguars first punt.

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