Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was serious when he said that Brandon Banks would have to make the team as a wide receiver, rather than as a return specialist, as he did last year. That was evident Thursday, when Banks was targeted nine times – more than any receiver in the game – in the Redskins 7-6 win over the Bills.
Banks, who played the second and third quarters, failed to make the most of his opportunities, however, managing only two catches for a total of 10 yards. Banks slipped on one route, almost producing an interception on the pass from Rex Grossman. On four other targets, he struggled to get the separation from opponents as he has in practice. Defensive backs were able to break up passes or shield Banks from the ball.
Banks was visibly upset when asked on Monday about his disappointing outing.
“I’m very frustrated,” Banks said, “because I feel like in order to make this team, I’ve got to make plays, and that’s what I do by making plays: blowing by defenders and basically, getting the ball in my hands, and I didn’t get the ball as much in the opportunities that I had.”
Asked if there was anything about his performance that he liked, Banks said, “I competed. I got the opportunity, and that’s all I’ve been wanting the last two years, is opportunity. I didn’t make the best of it, but hopefully I get better, and hopefully I get more opportunities.”
Banks hopes to redeem himself Saturday when the Redskins play their second preseason game in Chicago.
“I can get better,” he said. “Me and Rex just missed some throws. It is what it is. I can get better.”
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