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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandon Banks Looking Forward To Opportunity To Make Plays
ASHBURN – When Brandon Banks didn’t receive a call from Redskins Park at all on Friday, he knew that could mean only one thing.
“I just knew I had to be at practice the next day,” Banks said.
The Washington Redskins’ return specialist for the better part of the past two seasons, the 5-foot-7, 153-pound Banks was challenged by head coach Mike Shanahan to make the team this year as a receiver.
He caught just three of the 12 passes he was thrown for 54 yards, but one of them was a 47-yard grab against Tampa Bay in the preseason finale. He also ran 43 yards on a reverse in that game.
“The one thing about Brandon, he can make plays,” Shanahan said. “If you have him, like we ran him around on a reverse – not many people can make a corner miss like that and get a -yard gain. If you have to put him in the backfield, you can run him as a tailback because he has such great quickness. He’s a guy that’s a playmaker, and he’s proved that since he’s been here, and we’re going to find ways to get him the football.”
That’s exactly what Banks was trying to prove.
“I’m just happy that he recognizes that I have the ability, and he got to trust in me to put the ball in my hands,” Banks said. “I feel like that’s the type of playmaker I am. I want the ball, so I’m going to take advantage of every opportunity that I get.”
Banks was both a receiver and running back in college, leading Kansas State with 56 receptions and 705 yards in 2009 as a senior. He also caught a touchdown pass that season and ran 11 times for 110 yards.
“I never was really a receiver until I got here,” Banks said. “I mean, I was more of a wideout my junior year when Josh Freeman was there, but then my senior year, we had another quarterback [Grant Gregory] come in and we did a lot of wildcat. I did a lot of bubble screens. I never ran routes, real routes.”
That’s what he’s hoping he’ll have a chance to do this season.
“[Shanahan] just told me that he feels like I’m the type of guy [who’s] gonna get the ball in my hands, so just be ready when my number is called,” Banks said.