Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
End Reverse Touchdown Throw Allows Brandon Banks To Be Part Of Offense Again
LANDOVER, Md. – What began as a little bit of a distraction for Brandon Banks during practice in the past month or so became significantly more important in recent days.
Banks had been pining for a role on offense for the Washington Redskins. He served as a wildcat quarterback at times last year to utilize his speed, but the opportunities to get involved in anything but returning punts and kickoffs never presented themselves.
When Kyle Shanahan saw him throwing the ball at practice, the offensive coordinator had an idea. It led to Banks taking the ball from running back Roy Helu on an end reverse and throwing it 49 yards to Santana Moss for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter in Sunday’s 34-27 loss to New England.
“It felt good,” Banks said. “I can’t wait to make more plays on offense. I mean, that’s all I’ve been striving to do all season. Hopefully I can get my number called a little bit more.”
Banks had the option to either keep the ball or throw it downfield to Moss, who was lined up on the right and ran a fly route to the end zone. Banks wanted to run the ball, but as he approached the sideline, he unleashed a sidearm, off-balance pass that Moss had to stop to pull in.
“You’re taking a chance with one of those plays,” head coach Mike Shanahan said, “but sometimes, you feel like you need a big play.”
The play was developed early in the week practiced “four or five times,” Banks said. That was thrilling enough, but when the coaches told Banks in meetings Saturday night that it would be a part of the game plan, the 5-foot-9, 155-pounder knew it was a reality.
The completion was the first touchdown pass by a Redskins receiver since Antwaan Randle El threw an 18-yarder to Chris Cooley on Oct. 5, 2008. It was also the longest touchdown throw by a non-quarterback in team history.
One regret? Not asking for the ball after the play was over.
“I don’t even know where the ball is,” Banks said. “I ain’t asked for the ball. I shoulda got the ball but I didn’t. It’s all good, though.”