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Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Brandon Banks wants to gain 11 pounds

By Dan Steinberg

(By John McDonnell - TWP)


When I wrote about Brandon Banks's size in October, I noted that he was listed at 5-foot-8, 155 pounds. That made him 11 pounds lighter than the NFL's next smallest guy at the time, and one of only two players listed at less than 170.

Well, on Wednesday, Banks threw down the gauntlet. No more will he be 11 pounds smaller than his closest peer. He told Chris Johnson of the Mike Wise Show that he played this year at around 154, but that he wants to get to 165 in time for training camp. That would be 7 percent more Banks, making him just a single pound away from the next lightest NFLer.

"That's my purpose in the offseason, to get bigger to take the pounding," Banks said. "Because at the end of the season, I felt like if we went to the playoffs, I probably wouldn't have made it. Man, my knee was killing me, my shoulders was killing me. It's part of the game, but after the season I met with the strength coach, [and] we got a plan, so hopefully the plan [works] out."

Banks said for now, the weight gain has to be primarily through upper body work, since his injured knee still isn't completely healed from the injury he suffered in Detroit. He also said he would have been used more on offense in the second half of the season but for that knee injury.

"During the season, my left leg was so weak," Banks said. "You can watch me on film, I can't cut left, some of the cuts I couldn't make....After the first week in December, I hit [the rookie wall]. I had never played football after December 1st. I'm like, 'I'm still playing football? Man, this is a long season.' But I love football, I wanted to be there. I didn't want to quit."

By Dan Steinberg  | February 9, 2011; 12:59 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Brandon can be the answer to some of the question marks we have on offense and special teams. He may be the most exciting player we have. Let's hope he does not come down with sophomore slump syndrome.

Posted by: iubiquity | February 9, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope he does not come down with sophomore slump syndrome.

Posted by: iubiquity | February 9, 2011 1:30 PM

It's just nice to have a rookie to worry about having a sophomore slump. For years, it's been, "I hope they decide to show up in their second year."

Posted by: Section104 | February 9, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah, and the question is how much will the added weight affect his speed?

Posted by: iubiquity | February 9, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's just nice to have a rookie to worry about having a sophomore slump. For years, it's been, "I hope they decide to show up in their second year."

Posted by: Section104

Right, let's hope it's a direction not an incident.

Posted by: iubiquity | February 9, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

All Brandon has to do is hang out with Fat Albert for a week and he'll have put on more than his desired 11 pounds.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 9, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Since he's so light - I hope they only keep him as a game changing returner. It's a long season and they don't need to push him until he runs out of gas or gets injured.

Posted by: charley42 | February 9, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Brandon can be the answer to some of the question marks we have on offense and special teams. He may be the most exciting player we have. Let's hope he does not come down with sophomore slump syndrome.

Posted by: iubiquity | February 9, 2011 1:30 PM

__________________________________________

yeah like a certain player that plays SS jersey #48.

Posted by: datruth21 | February 9, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

if Banks hangs out with AH for a day, he might end up as Fat Al's lunch.

Posted by: destewar | February 9, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah like a certain player that plays SS jersey #48.

Posted by: datruth21

Yeah, that reminds me, gotta get around the changing that RI handle sometime soon.

Posted by: Predator48 | February 9, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

that picture is from a punt return that Banks housed... and was subsequently overturned on a BOGus call. 2010 Washington Redskins.

Posted by: saltine182 | February 9, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Brandon It was great watching you run this year & It seemed like every return you had a chance to take it. Stay healthy.

Posted by: DavyBaby | February 9, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Brandon It was great watching you run this year & It seemed like every return you had a chance to take it. Stay healthy.

Posted by: DavyBaby | February 9, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Brandon It was great watching you run this year & It seemed like every return you had a chance to take it. Stay healthy.

Posted by: DavyBaby | February 9, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

It's his light weight that allows the water-bug like quickness. He'll lose some of that with a 7% gain.

Posted by: Redskinrex | February 9, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Brandon Banks didn't have to tell me, it was pretty obvious in the last few games of the season he didn't have much left. He desperately needs to add at least the 7 pounds to be an effective player in the nfl through 16 games. He won't lose his speed what so ever, if he properly does it, which being a professional athlete and getting really good nutrition advice he will.

At 165 pounds, he can be more of an offensive weapon in his second year, instead of being just a special team guy, which he was reduced to because of all the massive hits he was taking when he played offense.

Banks will improve a lot in his sophomore year. He'll probably be on punt return and play more in the offense and not do kick return, except on special occasions, can't wait.

Posted by: culprit59 | February 9, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Brandon won't have to worry about playing much past December if he stays with the Skins - just kidding

Posted by: coparker5 | February 10, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

This is nice. A reporter finding an actual player who has ssomething honest and from the heart to say. I don't know what I've waited for longer- a player to be excited about, or an insider post not based on yesterdays AP wire.

Thanks Brandon. You made every game you played more fun to watch. No, the weight won't slow you down if you do it right, and it sounds like he is. He will need to improve his core strength and then add mass through high rep/low weight circuit training. That method is sued a lot for people with a high BMI to get lighter, but once your body fat is down to a certain level the body converts into muscle. The concern comes when he tries to build up fast- he can, a lot of people do. The new muscle tends to be very centralized and leave other parts of the muscle group exposed- and that leads to injury. But if he is hard working and patient, adding 11 pounds to his frame should be very achievable.

As for his speed he doesn't loose a step unless he looses his flexability. I don't see that happen. Folks that are fast have an inner sense of timing that people that aren't, don't. It is a lot easier to make a fast person strong, it is VERY difficult to make a strong person 'fast."

It is a bonus for him that his frame is small. Like a good hockey player it makes him harder to hit, and very hard to hit square. Form tackles below the waist remain the best way to get him down, hence his kneee injury.

I don't think I ever want to see him block on a regular basis, but how about seeing Banks as a "third down back" like we used to see Brian Mitchell? He almost never ran the ball, but he had great hands and was able to pick up dump passes (often poorly thrown) and turn sacks into first downs- and more.

At 155 or 165 Banks is just little. So what? He has heart- a lot of it. And you just can't measure that on a scale. Besides- he was still PLENTY fast with 120ft of tape on his knee, couldn't cut to one side, and people still hated to try and tackle him.

Posted by: fireballhank | February 10, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of using Banks as a 3rd down back on occasion..We need a good change of pace back badly ala joe washington and kelvin bryant. I'm not sure he'd hold up tho if used regularly. scratch that...just let him return kicks and be happy with an occasional WR appearance. Its safer that way...we don't wanna lose a threat like him.

Posted by: scottmando1 | February 10, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

to gain weight via muscle mass, he will have to build up the muscles that actually grow, and those are the muscles with fast twitch fibers. The muscles that get exercised via high weight, low rep sets. Guess what, those are also the muscles that the provide explosion and speed.

This is why most world class *sprinters* are more bulky than lanky (save for Usain Bolt). Think about it- to get the burst of speed, the muscle explodes and gets tired fast, so you need more of those fibers around to keep the burst of speed up. So if he gains more muscle in the fast twitch variety, his speed should not go down at all.

He just needs to make sure he's strengthening his legs, not just his upper body, because if all the weight gain is upstairs, then his legs are at the same strength but carrying more weight, and that WILL slow him down.

Posted by: achilleas11 | February 10, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

two words: FIVE GUYS!!! LOL

Posted by: Bigmon411 | February 10, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Banks needs to increase his protein intake in order to gain the weight he needs. I actually think he could push for 175lbs and still be explosive. The key to maintaining his speed is to focus on plyometrics. Getting those fast twitch muscles active will work wonders for him. Even though Joey Galloway didn't work out for us, he was clocked @ 4.15 in the 40. Some of his workouts as highlighted in Muscle & Fitness magazine were parachute sprint of various distances, 500lbs squats, standing jumps over hurdles of various heights. It'll be interesting to see how Banks' second year will turn out. I wish him all the best. On special teams, he gives us fans a reason to be excited....unless Perry Riley blocks someone in the back like he did last season.

Posted by: charronegro1971 | February 10, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

If Banks does and all over body workout with weights he will have the same speed AFTER he completely heals, and will absorb the punishment much better. Thighs and glutes and chest, arms, and shoulders - there's his 11 lbs of muscle. He was fun to watch before he got hurt and was rushed back.

Posted by: artsnsportz | February 12, 2011 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow, sure hope the 'Skins training staff reads all this advice from the self-appointed "experts" of RI. Ya think mb they're getting paid to do what they do 'cause they know a thing or two about muscle physiology? Put down the Muscle and Fitness, gym rats, go play outside, and realize that his training is in better hands than this peanut gallery can provide.

HTTR

Posted by: hogmeister | February 12, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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