Rookie Benjamin learning while producing

CHARLOTTE – Kelvin Benjamin is in the midst of the best rookie season by a wide receiver in franchise history.

He's five receptions away from overtaking Keary Colbert, who had 47 catches in 2004, and he's 96 yards away from surpassing Colbert's 754.

And Benjamin's team-leading seven touchdown catches are the most ever by a Panthers rookie.

But the 28th overall selection in the 2014 draft hasn't had much reason to celebrate with the Panthers winless since Week 5.

After enjoying an undefeated run to the BCS National Championship last year at Florida State, Benjamin isn't used to losing. Quarterback Cam Newton, who led Auburn to an undefeated National Championship season before turning pro, knows how difficult and humbling that can be for a rookie.

"(Cam) always talks to me about the first season he had with the Panthers and how that was so tough for him and how he learned from it. It's a learning game. I'm learning," Benjamin said.

"I kind of got down when we started getting down in the (Eagles) game, and I was determined to come out with a whole different mindset after halftime. (Tight end) Greg Olsen, a great vet, he told me one day, 'Take pride in what you put on film.' That's what we try to do."

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Benjamin, who recorded two touchdown catches in the fourth quarter of the Monday night loss to Philadelphia, still has a lot to learn and that speaks to the extent of his potential. He's striving to become more sure-handed and more precise as a route runner.

"I kind of got away from little things – like not getting depth on slant routes," Benjamin said. "Just little things like that help the quarterback. I need to be more precise."

It's the little things that will go a long way in helping Carolina end its winless streak and contend for a division title that's still within reach.

"We are starting from the basics and going over everything," Benjamin said. "We have to pull together as a team and stay strong for one another."

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