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Brandon Banks' production has continued to frustrate.
I have to admit, I don’t understand why Brandon Banks is on the roster. He is a useful player to have in the triple-option schemes the Redskins have been running, sure, but it’s not as if he possesses particular skills unavailable to other fast players like Aldrick Robinson.
Prior to the season, Shanahan maintained that Banks would have to prove himself as a receiver to make the team. He didn’t do that, but made the roster anyway. So it seemed that he was going to be used in a very specific way this year.
We saw that with the emergence of the triple-option, but he has failed to make much impact. Last week against the Giants, Banks was ignored on triple-option schemes and Josh Morgan and Niles Paul took on Banks’ role.
It may have been that Shanahan wanted to keep teams guessing—let’s face it, if Banks is on the field, you can at least take a shot at guessing the play call—but that leaves Banks with no real role except punt and kick returns.
Supporters of Banks maintain that it’s only a matter of time before he peels off a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown. But we’ve been waiting three years now and it’s yet to happen. He had one 96-yard kick return for a touchdown as a rookie. For a player to still be living off that isn’t good enough.
The other issue is the fumbles. Banks has three on offense and three on special teams. For someone who sees the field as little as he does, that’s unacceptable. If he were a Tom Coughlin-coached player, he wouldn’t be on the team anymore.
He’s been lucky so far, with all his fumbles either being recovered by himself or going out of bounds. Shanahan made a joke about Banks when speaking after the Giants game:
Banks usually does a good job of recovering his own fumbles. He has some experience fumbling the ball but he always seems to get it. I told him once the opposition gets it, then he won’t have those opportunities anymore, so he recovers it very quickly. (Via The Washington Post).
It has seemed as if Banks has been one play away from being cut all season—and preseason, for that matter. But even as his production diminished, he continued to stay on the team. A road game this week against the Steelers might not be his ideal environment, but it could be his last chance. Again.