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The Untouchable Brandon Banks

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 2, 2011 – 12:43 pm


How does one race 95 yards down the field on a punt return, without being touched?  One part blinding speed, 11 parts really good blocking.

Certainly everything went right on this return, and everyone managed to take care of their blocks without earning a penalty.  But there were three blocks that helped to eliminate the opportunity for a Bucs player to make a ‘saving tackle.’

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No. 22, cornerback Kevin Barnes, was blocking Bucs No. 6, (former Redskin) Marcus Price on the play (photo right)

First he jammed Price on the snap, and then tracked him down the field.  When Banks fielded the punt at the 5 yard line, Barnes stuck his man, springing Banks through the crease that had been set up by other blockers downfield.

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As Banks jetted through the crease, he was set up by No. 51, linebacker Keyaron Fox.  Fox holds his block on Bucs No. 49, linebacker Simoni Lawrence, but behind him is Bucs No. 80, tight end Ryan Purvis (left).

No. 88, tight end Derek Schouman, initiates contact with Purvis just as he’s turning to tackle Banks.  This block launches Banks out of the crease and into the open field.

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As Banks gets into the open field, he has two men to beat: the kicker (not shown), and Bucs No. 84, tight end Nathan Overbay.

Overbay would have a play on Banks, were he not being driven backwards by a charging No. 48, safety Chris Horton.

The Horton block drops Overbay, and Banks splits the final defenders, leaving a trail of Burgundy and Gold blockers in his wake on the to the endzone.

A total of 95 yards in a little over 12 seconds.

Which leads to this:

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Banks finished the game with almost 200 return yards and did a lot to help himself out last night.  But he knows that he almost blew it with his early celebration in the endzone.

“I can’t do that no more,” he said after the game.  “I mean, you don’t want to do all of that work for nothing. I want to put points on the board. Just getting to the one yard line don’t mean nothing to me.  It was a close call and I’m glad it went my way.

Banks said after the play, special teams coordinator Danny Smith just told him to extra careful next time.  That may have been the point he was making, but I doubt it was a polite food for thought.

Asked if he had talked to Shanahan yet, Banks sheepishly responded, “No, I haven’t talked him yet. That’s coming though.”

Banks was pretty adamant that the only acceptable return is one that ends in the endzone.  Teammate Anthony Armstrong took the time to tweet his congratulations to Banks last night:

And as of this morning, it sounds like Banks has learned his lesson on celebrating a step too soon:


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Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments »


14 Responses to “The Untouchable Brandon Banks”

  1. By david on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    good stuff.

  2. By Lasko on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    No. 88, tight end Derek Schouman should have been flagged for a block in the back. Nonetheless, good stuff.

  3. By Brian Tinsman on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    @Lasko-
    It certainly appears that way from this angle, but maybe they gave him the benefit of the doubt because the guy was turning towards Banks at impact. It’s not a block in the back if it’s a block in the side. Either way, in a 5-point game, I can live with it :-)

  4. By dutchnblue on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    “I don’t care if you’re a hot dog”

  5. By TheismanIsAnIdiot on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    Old Joe was sooooo sure it was going to be overturned, but I guess he forgot the way that challenges work in the NFL as a “professional” announcer.

    The ruling on the field was a touchdown and there has to be irrefutable evidence for them to overturn the call.

  6. By REDSKINSALLDAY on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    With Roysters “concussion” could he be placed on PUP? If Hightower, Torian, Helu, DY, Sellers as the backs.

  7. By REDSKINSALLDAY on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    Torain was getting durability carries(17) to get him in football shape and ensuring that his hand was healthy. Dont think Torian was fightn for roster spot.

  8. By Brian Tinsman on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    @REDSKINSALLDAY-

    I don’t think the Redskins would get away with trying to sneak Royster through on PUP, and I don’t think it would help anyone to try. If he’s not good enough to make the 53-man roster, then he needs practice time, something that would be forbidden on PUP. He played well, but might get caught up in the numbers game. Also, it’s hard to keep DY, Sellers, and Paulsen, so we’ll have to see how the Sellers at FB/TE/H-back experiment went.

    The first round of cuts didn’t come with a whole lot of surprises, but this one has the potential to raise eyebrows with pretty much every team around the league. My prediction is that there are going to be some pretty good players without jobs tomorrow.

  9. By Brian Tinsman on Sep 2, 2011 | Reply

    @TheismanIsAnIdiot-

    You’re absolutely right, and I was having the same conversation in the press box. Did Banks have possession going into the endzone? Maybe, if only JUST barely. But the Redskins dodged a bullet with no goal line camera and the call on the field. Put up 6!

  10. By Paul on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    With expectations and results so low over the past….How many seasons?
    I am very optimistic with what I have seen in the pre-season.

    First team offense has shown good execution.
    Defense looks lean, mean and opportunistic.
    Special teams, 2 run backs for TDs and Gano has been perfect.

    Redskins 11-5 to WIn the NFC East!

  11. By pez despenser on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    How fast is Niles Paul? He was standing still when Banks ran past him then he came flying in the the screen almost catching up with banks.

  12. By Brian Tinsman on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    @pez despenser-
    Niles Paul has the reputation as a guy who is fast enough to make a play downfield and tough enough to go over the middle. In the combine he registered a 4.45 40, which is not fast, but I think that he plays faster than that. He’s a gamer on special teams and has the ability to make some plays on offense, especially with his ability to block. He could qualify as a steal in a few years.

  13. By pez despenser on Sep 3, 2011 | Reply

    Brian since you are around, what’s the deal with o-linemen hooking their arm around Orakpo up high when he rushes around the outside? Is that legal? It almost seems like a hold. If it is legal what can he do about it? Duck the arm? push the arm away before the hook him? It’s frustrating because you can see that he has the sack then that big arm hooks around him. If you get a chance, ask him what he plans to do about that. Thanks!

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