Washington Redskins return man/receiver Brandon Banks said Tuesday that his 91-yard punt return for a touchdown Saturday against Chicago did little to ease the pressure he feels as he competes for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has told Banks he needs to show that he can contribute as a receiver, and Banks has only two catches in nine targets this preseason. On Saturday, he didn’t get on the field as a receiver.
But he made the most of his chances that he did get, returning a punt for a touchdown for the third consecutive preseason.
“It felt good. It’s something normal [in the preseason] now,” Banks said during Tuesday’s open locker room session. “But it is what it is. I’m really just focusing on offense. I’m trying to make a play on the offensive side of the ball. I mean, I’ll take it any time I touch the ball on punt returns. But I’m just really focused on offense.”
Asked on Monday about Banks’s play and the third-year pro’s chances of making the roster, Shanahan said, “When a guy has game-breaking potential and ability, which he has shown, it is tough not to keep a guy like that. But we have a lot of competition and that is what you want to have. Who else can return punts? Who else can play wide receiver? That is what you have to evaluate and sometimes you let some good football players go.”
Banks noted that making only two catches on nine targets in the preseason opener has left a bad taste in his mouth. He hasn’t been told what to expect Saturday against Indianapolis, but has a simple goal.
“Capitalizing on the opportunity I get. I only get but so many, so any opportunity I get, I need to capitalize on it.”
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