Brandon Banks - The Wide Receiver

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Brandon Banks - The Wide Receiver

Postby The Hogster » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:11 pm

This article on the Washington Post goes into detail about Banks' development as a WR & playmaker as well as a return specialist. This deserves it's own thread because, for the first time, Banks speaks to his own development in learning to contribute as a true Wide Receiver from his college days catching passes from Josh Freeman. To his current position learning from WR Coach Ike Hilliard.

I'm sure we will debate his worthiness next season in the other thread. But for those of us who are interested in the real story behind Banks The Wide Receiver - here goes:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/football-insider/wp/2012/09/04/redskins-wr-brandon-banks-feels-like-a-totally-different-person/

Banks Feels Like A "Totally Different Person"

When he watches film of practices and preseason games, and then looks back at the 2010 and 2011 versions of himself, Washington Redskins receiver/return man Brandon Banks sees a very different player.

Already a talented punt/kick returner, Brandon Banks expects to make strides at wide receiver as well. (Washington Post/John McDonnell)

As an undrafted rookie out of Kansas State, Banks was a fast kid capable of reeling off big returns, but he knew very little about being a pro wide receiver. The 2011 version of Banks was fast, but not as quick – still hobbled by a balky left knee that needed surgery during the previous season – and he knew the pass routes of Washington’s offense. But lacked the knowledge of how to properly run them, or deal with certain coverages.

Now entering his third season, Banks says his knee at last has fully healed, giving him the ability to make cuts with ease. Meanwhile, his understanding of the receiver position is growing. Banks admits he remains far from a finished product, but he – and his coaches, by evidence of his inclusion on Washington’s 53-man roster – believe that he is on the right track.

As has been well-documented, Banks received a challenge from coach Mike Shanahan to prove that he could make the team as a pass-catcher, and not just a special teams player. After Banks rebounded from early struggles to close out the preseason strongly, Shanahan said the Redskins need to get the ball in Banks’ hands more this season.

“I’m just happy that he recognizes that I have the ability, and he’s got trust in me to put the ball in my hands,” Banks said on Monday. “I feel like that’s the kind of play-maker I am. I want the ball.”

Although only 5-foot-7 and 153 pounds, Banks never doubted his ability to play receiver in the NFL. But he admits that although he was listed as a receiver at Kansas State and as a junior in 2008 led the team in receiving yardage (67 catches for 1,049 yards and nine touchdowns), he wasn’t asked to run a wide range of pass routes. And then as a senior – once Josh Freeman was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kansas State began running a lot of Wildcat formations featuring Banks.

“I was never a receiver til I got here,” Banks said before later explaining. “I was more of a wideout my junior year when Josh Freeman was there. My senior year, they had a different quarterback, and I ran a lot of bubble screens. I never ran a lot of real routes.”


When new Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard observed Banks this past offseason, he noticed Banks was lazy with his hands as he tried to get off the line, and other times, Banks was actually running his routes too fast. Together, they have begun correcting those problems.

“I really am getting a lot of detail. I give a lot of credit to Ike,” Banks said. “He taught me a lot of things with press coverages, how to slow down in my routes and stuff instead of trying to run everything full-speed and being out of place.”

Banks believes the increased knowledge has him poised for greater production as a receiver. Not having to worry about his knee (last year he would feel stabs of pain when trying to change direction) also should help, both on offense and special teams.

“What hurt me the most was I was still trying to run through that knee injury,” Banks said. “I kept trying to run on it when it was still hurt. I kept playing and playing and playing. It brought me down a lot. It was always on my mind, so I wasn’t fully into football. I was worried about getting healthy. I’m a totally different person now. I’m 100 percent healthy. I’ve talked to the coaches and I feel like I’m going to get the opportunities this year.”
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Postby Red_One43 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:09 pm

You mean a thread about Banks that is about whether or not he belongs on the team? I guess after two seasons in the NFL, he deserves it.

Thanks Hogster.

Brandon Branks:
I never ran a lot of real routes


I remember specifically addressing this issue a few weeks ago that a lot of colleges don't make their receivers run pro routes. I pointed out that this year was new for Banks having to actually run the precise routes in practice and in games.

My quesiton to Banks would be, "Are you considering highering a receiver guru over the offseason to help him improve?" No way he is getting enough reps to make the improvements that he wants. This would really show how good he wants to be. I think that he would be a very dangerous receiver if he improves his skills to go with his speed.

Banks was actually running his routes too fast. Together, they have begun correcting those problems.


This can explain the constant slipping in the Bills game. As noted in the article, the problem is correctable. Not all was bad in that Bills game for Banks.

“What hurt me the most was I was still trying to run through that knee injury,” Banks said. “I kept trying to run on it when it was still hurt. I kept playing and playing and playing. It brought me down a lot. It was always on my mind, so I wasn’t fully into football. I was worried about getting healthy. I’m a totally different person now. I’m 100 percent healthy. I’ve talked to the coaches and I feel like I’m going to get the opportunities this year


I don't think that Banks gets the credit that he deserves from his detractors for playing through this injury. It says a lot for his ability to play through pain for the team. The fact that he didn't reinjure it says a lot for his durability.

Quotes are from the article posted in the lead post on this thread.

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Postby ATX_Skins » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:00 pm

I am bringing the Banks debate back to life. I want him gone. He is awful.

Enough of the speed kills crap this guy is not only a liability he's a terrible returner.
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Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:08 pm

Ok, so why him? Why not cut Clos rogers taught me had to catch Briscoe? BB is the least of our worries right now so I'm gonna call BS on the clamour to give him the boot.
I'll agree he's been nothing special, but who knows he effect he has just being on the field to open up the OPTIONS. He's been better with mutts and fumbles so I think this is uncalled for. Find someone better, or someone we need at a different position... That we can't make room for by cutting someone else, then ill give ya some credit. As of now he isn't even in the discussion of issues on this team
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Postby ATX_Skins » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:13 pm

cowboykillerzRGiii wrote:Ok, so why him? Why not cut Clos rogers taught me had to catch Briscoe? BB is the least of our worries right now so I'm gonna call BS on the clamour to give him the boot.
I'll agree he's been nothing special, but who knows he effect he has just being on the field to open up the OPTIONS. He's been better with mutts and fumbles so I think this is uncalled for. Find someone better, or someone we need at a different position... That we can't make room for by cutting someone else, then ill give ya some credit. As of now he isn't even in the discussion of issues on this team


No, I will not find someone else to talk about. I'm talking about Brandon Banks. For someone that plays such a pivotal role on special teams, his role needs to be given to someone else.

He is too timid, scared and as a result does not charge through gaps like he should. He is not some secret weapon you think he is. He is merely a gimmicky player who will be collecting carts at Costco next year.
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Postby 44diesel » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:24 pm

I've been pretty impartial when it comes to Banks for a while. I admit, he's fast... really fast and he's had a couple of nice returns for us in his career, but his big plays are getting fewer and further between and his decision making has been atrocious and inexcusable.

I still can't understand why he decided to field a punt just over the goalline and try to run it out? What happened to the adage "stand at the 10 yard line and if it's over your head, let it go."

He also ran several kickoffs out of the endzone (about 5 yards deep) and failed to reach the 20. I'm all for a playmaker being the difference in the ballgame, but yesterday I kept finding myself hoping the cowpie kicker put it through the back of the endzone so we'd start with decent field position. smh.
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Postby Red_One43 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:48 pm

ATX_Skins wrote:I am bringing the Banks debate back to life. I want him gone. He is awful.

Enough of the speed kills crap this guy is not only a liability he's a terrible returner.


I was wondering where ATX was.

No doubt Banks' value as a kick returner is nil at this point. He is either fielding punts when he is not supposed to or not fielding punts when he is supposed to. When he does field them, he seems to have lost his vision. I thought he had the wide side of the field and a blocker on that last one, but he turned it up. He has no jittery moves. Finally, he has fumbled the ball to the point, Shanny warned that he ever loses one to the opposition, he is gone.

Value as a special teams player? I have to side with you on this one ATX that he is now a liability.

BUUUUUUT, I disagree with you that he should be gone. Last week, when they did the fake reverse against the Eagles, it showed that teams are still focused on him when he is on the field. There is a reason that they are. They know that Shanny is cooking up something all the time to exploit Banks' speed. I look for Banks to start getting routes like Aldrick got last night that took advantage of the play action and Aldrick's speed.

So, at this point, I sit Banks down as a punt returner until I think he has got his head right and start using him more in the deep passing game. Even if he is not the primary receiver, he will get notice as he is blowing by defenders.
Last edited by Red_One43 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ATX_Skins » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:57 pm

Red_One43 wrote:
ATX_Skins wrote:I am bringing the Banks debate back to life. I want him gone. He is awful.

Enough of the speed kills crap this guy is not only a liability he's a terrible returner.


I was wondering where ATX was.

No doubt Banks' value as a kick returner is nil at this point. He is either fielding punts when he is not supposed to and not fielding punts when he is supposed to. When he does field them, he seems to have lost his vision. I thought he had the wide side of the field and a blocker on that last one, but he turned it up. He has no jittery moves. Finally, he has fumbled the ball to the point, Shanny warned that he ever loses one to the opposition, he is gone.

Value as a special teams player? I have to side with you on this one ATX that he is now a liability.

BUUUUUUT, I disagree with you that he should be gone. Last week, when they did the fake reverse against the Eagles, it showed that teams are still focused on him when he is on the field. There is a reason that they are. They know that Shanny is cooking up something all the time to exploit Banks' speed. I look for Banks to start getting routes like Aldrick got last night that took advantage of the play action and Aldrick's speed.

So, at this point, I sit Banks down as a punt returner until I think he has got his head right and start using him more in the deep passing game. Even if he is not the primary receiver, he will get notice as he is blowing by defenders.


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Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Always hatin on the little guy huh?Lmao
Ya, he hasn't done anything big this season tho so I won't argue much. I think he got a first down yesterday tho... Against the pukes, ill take it.
Seems like he isn't getting.much protection this year huh? Not an excuse he just hasn't had much to work with. Now ill agree he's been a non factor on ko, ima say at least he's been guarding the rock. Got a little worried when the pukes punted yesterday not gonna lie..
I'd like to see the the catch 22 or what ever when he's been on the field. I'd wager that a more then one of our tds were set up indirectly by him causing a defender to watch him and leaving something else open. #justsayin
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Postby Countertrey » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:52 pm

My only concern about Banks is that he has totally disappeared from the Return game. He is NOT the same.
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Postby Chris Luva Luva » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:07 pm

He has become a bit worthless as a returner. Honestly, I'd like to see Niles try a few returns. Banks small size doesn't allow him to run through traffic.

However, I think his speed is an effective asset in our scheme. Regardless of how uninformed fans feel, it is a threat and we see that when he's on the field. Catching passes out of the backfield, screens and just being a decoy has been beneficial.
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Postby DarthMonk » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:21 pm

I'm not clamoring for his release but I think we can improve at the flex he currently occupies in the draft or with a free agent. I have no doubt we can find a guy with equal explosion and more meat who can play WR or DB. My guess is this is his last year as a Redskin.

In a strange way he has been Gano-esque. He has big play ability but is very inconsistent and has truly sucked lately.

... and yet, he could take one to the house against the G-men Monday and the look on Coughlin's face would rival "No Danny, no!"
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Postby Countertrey » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:26 pm

DarthMonk wrote: the look on Coughlin's face would rival "No Danny, no!"


Ummm... the look on Couglin's face ALWAYS screams "No Danny, no... wait... what??? What century is this???"
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Postby Chris Luva Luva » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:32 pm

DarthMonk wrote:I'm not clamoring for his release but I think we can improve at the flex he currently occupies in the draft or with a free agent. I have no doubt we can find a guy with equal explosion and more meat who can play WR or DB. My guess is this is his last year as a Redskin.


This is how I feel. I realize his contribution. However, I can see how we need improvement. We need someone that can bring his speed but with more size. He can't break arm tackles without significantly being slowed down or rerouted.
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Postby Red_One43 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:39 pm

Mike Shanahan answers ATX's concerns about Banks: :wink:

“There’s a common sense that prevails and then there’s a mindset of you have to fair catch it or keep it in the end zone. It’s tough with a guy that believes he can make plays. We’ll take a hard look at it and make sure he makes the best decisions in the best interests of our team. … The reason we have him on offense is we know the potential he has to make plays and he made big plays for us. He’s a guy that has all the energy. He can make plays.”


Red to ATX:
I think that it is safe to say that Mike was not happy with Banks the returner, but he quickly changes the tune to Banks the offense guy. In summary, Banks is staying on this team. Buuut: I think that you have a valid debate.

Last year when the debate really got going concerning Banks, he started getting some big punt returns - perhaps, we might see that happen again this year starting on Monday Night Football on December 3rd.


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