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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Opponents are limiting Brandon Banks's chances

By Barry Svrluga

Brandon Banks has played in only 10 NFL games, but he has quickly gained a reputation as a kick and punt returner dangerous enough that teams purposely kick away from him. That happened Sunday against Tampa Bay, when the Buccaneers had five kickoffs - but kicked to Banks only twice.

Twice, fullback Mike Sellers caught kickoffs. He posted returns of 18 and 10 yards, giving the Redskins the ball at their own 40 and 31. Once, on the opening kickoff of the second half, linebacker Chris Wilson fielded the bal and fumbled, leading to a Tampa Bay field goal.

His opponents' approach is difficult for Banks.

"There's a lot more pressure now because that's the only opportunity I get," he said. "It's really frustrating. I feel like I can change the game, but that's my only shot."

The pressure is showing in little ways. Twice, Banks caught punts inside the 10 yard line, normally the demarcation line where returners are supposed to let the ball bounce in the hope that it goes into the end zone. Banks caught one punt at the 8 and another at the 4.

"I'm trying to make a play," he said.

Part of that, Banks said, is because he knows the return game is likely his only chance. Though he was on the field as a receiver against Tampa Bay, he was never the target of a pass. He has just two catches for 10 yards on the season. In college at Kansas State, Banks said, teams often kicked away from him.

"But I got the ball a little bit more in college," Banks said. "I was on offense a lot."

Banks has a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown this season and has had two other returns for scores - one on a kickoff, the other on a punt - called back because of penalties. He ranks ninth in the NFL with a 10.8-yard punt return average and seventh in the league with a 26.3-yard kickoff return average.

By Barry Svrluga  | December 15, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Brandon Banks  
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Next: Donovan McNabb not worried about rumors that Rex Grossman might replace him

Comments

I just don't get why so many people can't judge a player anywhere between "amazing" and "sucks". Let some up here tell it, every QB in the league sucks not named Manning, Brees, or Brady. McNabb has been mediocre this year, but to say he "sucks" is plain stupid.

Posted by: brownwood26

He is 25th in the league in Passer Rating. He has the 5th most INTs with 15. He is 20th in TD passes. He has more INTs than Tds. He is 27th in the league in comp %.
It is fair to say that McNabb sucks this year. There may be reasons why he sucks. Like poor oline and receivers but at the end of the day his stats and the Redskins record show that he does suck.

I still laugh when I think back to all of the posters thinking he was the missing link. The posters that got upset when I questioned his accuracy. Now the almighty McNabb is endanger of getting replaced by Rex Grossman.

Those draft picks sure would have been nice right about now.

Posted by: srobert1117 | December 15, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Re: The McNabb Booing.

Dude was the face of the division rival Iggles for more than a decade. His acceptance here isn't automatic. Now that he's putting up his career worst season for us, it shouldn't be surprising he's not fully embraced by local fans.

Replace McNabb with Tony Romo under the same circumstances and I'm pretty sure you would see a very similar reaction.

Posted by: Alan4 | December 15, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Another reason to question why Danny Smith is still special teams coach for this team. You do not let your guy field a punt inside the 10, and then have him do it again in the same game. I guess he waited til Wednesday after the Vikings game to teach Perry Riley what a block in the back is.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | December 15, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

brown
"I just don't get why so many people can't judge a player anywhere between "amazing" and "sucks"."
------

exactly!

Maybe it's because most people are idiots.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 15, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2010 11:54 AM

Actually it wasn't 2007 or 2007...it was last season...but the dude can do it all...

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I've narrowed it down to 4 possible years he was here. It was either:

A. 2009
B. 2009
C. 2009
D. 2009

It also could have been in 2009. Not sure which one though, might want to check that out!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

If teams keep giving us the ball at the 40...then BB will have a very easy job for many, many years.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

banks needs to engage his brain, and stop fielding punts inside the 10....this team/offense/offensive play caller, can't afford to have a longer field than necessary....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If teams keep giving us the ball at the 40...then BB will have a very easy job for many, many years.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Just don't let Chris Wilson field the ball!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It also could have been in 2009. Not sure which one though, might want to check that out!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:19 PM

I wish we had someone here on the blog that knows everything...and could clear this up.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

He is 25th in the league in Passer Rating. He has the 5th most INTs with 15. He is 20th in TD passes. He has more INTs than Tds. He is 27th in the league in comp %.
It is fair to say that McNabb sucks this year. There may be reasons why he sucks. Like poor oline and receivers but at the end of the day his stats and the Redskins record show that he does suck.

I still laugh when I think back to all of the posters thinking he was the missing link. The posters that got upset when I questioned his accuracy. Now the almighty McNabb is endanger of getting replaced by Rex Grossman.

Those draft picks sure would have been nice right about now.

Posted by: srobert1117 | December 15, 2010 12:08 PM


You know who's worse than McNabb in ALL categories? Brett Favre. Yet I haven't heard ANYONE say he sucks. In fact, he gets passionate verbal felatio from the media at every turn.

Peyton Manning had a 3 game stretch where he threw 11 picks. Everyone is on Sam Bradford's jock and his QB rating is only two points higher than McNabb's. Nobody's saying they "suck".

I don't think anyone (myself included) would pass on a chance to undo this trade, but let's not let the bitter taste of losing skew what ails the team. We're getting OWNED at the point of attack on a near weekly basis. THAT is why this team is losing, not McNabb. Sunday we caught a glimpse of what #5 can do with a steady ground attack and a competitive defense...and any projection of what he could do was based on the assumption we'd get that for at least some of this year. Just because he's not elite and can't turn water into wine, doesn't mean he "sucks".

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

banks needs to engage his brain, and stop fielding punts inside the 10....this team/offense/offensive play caller, can't afford to have a longer field than necessary....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 12:25 PM

The punt he fielded around the 5 could have easily gone out of bounds around there...thought that was a heads up play.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

McNabb doesn't suck...and who here expected him to remain healthy ALL season...especially with the beating he's been taking all year! It's amazing actually.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ugh...F me if pabrian is agreeing with me. If that doesn't end my day on the blog, I don't know what will...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The punt he fielded around the 5 could have easily gone out of bounds around there...thought that was a heads up play.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:30 PM


Completely agree, and that was my thought when he fielded it. That ball was angling toward the sideline and stood a decent chance of going out of bounds inside the 5.

Posted by: freakzilla | December 15, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Dude does seem to be pressing a bit too much -- but then again, he has proven an ability to run to daylight if given even half an opportunity.

However, would like to see more of him in the offensive scheming.

The simple fact that McNabb was trying to throw clutch passes late in the fourth quarter last weekend to the likes of Roydell Williams (yeah, that guy) seems to indicate we didn't saddle enough horses.

Posted by: Vic1 | December 15, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ugh...F me if pabrian is agreeing with me. If that doesn't end my day on the blog, I don't know what will...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 12:35 PM

Maybe hessone soliciting certain sexual favors from you?

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

he gets passionate verbal felatio from the media at every turn.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I like the regular good ole fashion felatio, but I'll settle for some verbal too!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

My do some morons keep posting stupid comments about McNabb on an article about the kick returner.
My guess is that some posters can't read.

Posted by: pjohn2 | December 15, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

>>> banks needs to engage his brain, and stop fielding punts inside the 10....this team/offense/offensive play caller, can't afford to have a longer field than necessary....

I have noticed that a lot of punt returners catch the ball inside the 10. I thought they were supposed to let them go, but often they don't. Banks isn't the only one. I am sure his coaches are telling him when to catch and when not to.

The odds are decent that Banks will get a few yards, and there's also a chance that he'll break one. I say let the guy catch it whenever he wants.

I'd also like to see him on offense. If he has decent hands he could line up as a slot receiver. No way I'd send him over the middle though! He's get broken in half.

Posted by: unclelonghair | December 16, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with pjohn2. Why are all these people posting rants about McNabb in an article about Banks?

Posted by: rpm2nite | December 16, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I think dude who said "he can't turn water into wine" pretty much summed up what we Skins fans expect from McNabb.

Take this crappy line, limited running game and stonehanded receiving corps and make us some wins. Jesus himself couldn't do that.

There is no one piece that is gong to fix this franchise. Manning, Brady or Montana plugged into this team would "suck" by fans standards.

Campbell is doing better having left this team. Why? Because he wasn't as bad as he seemed to be. With a little less dysfunctional offense he can actually grow.

We need 4 pieces to change our offense. Left guard, center, right guard, right tackle. Take our top four picks and get a young crew in the draft and we'd be pretty good for the next 5 years offensively.

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | December 17, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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