After lobbying unsuccessfully all season for a role in the Washington Redskins’ offense, return specialist Brandon Banks finally got to contribute outside of special teams when he threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. But Redskins coach Mike Shanahan doesn’t sound as if he plans on increasing Banks’ role in the final three weeks of the season.
On the play before the reverse/touchdown pass, Shanahan sent Banks into the game to run a pass route so the Patriots wouldn’t suspect Banks was going to be used for a big play.
“Well, we put him in there for one reason: to throw,” Shanahan said. “And he’s left-handed. We just didn’t want to put him in there for one play — everybody would have been looking at him, so we put him in there on another play, a running play so it didn’t look like it was some type of reverse. And then he did run it. He did a great job cutting to the left and making a play.”
Banks got on the field for one offensive snap earlier this season, but wasn’t targeted. Although Banks boasts great speed and played receiver in college, the Redskins fear that at 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds, the Kansas State product, who has battled knee problems, wouldn’t be able to physically handle a heavy offensive load. He is rarely used as a receiver, even in practice.
Given that the usually tight-lipped Shanahan freely explained that Banks was used on offense only for a special play, it seems unlikely that Banks would get his wish for an expanded role in the offense, which he started pushing for again after Sunday’s game.
Banks still leads the NFL with 45 kickoff return attempts and 1,021 kick return yards. His average of 22.7 yards a kick return ranks 19th in the NFL.