Last month, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said return specialist Brandon Banks also must contribute at wide receiver if hes to earn a spot on this seasons roster.On Sunday, Banks reaffirmed his intent to meet Shanahans challenge.Im not nervous; Im more ready and excited, Banks said during his youth football camp at Georgetown Prep. If I can get the ball in my hands, I can go the distance anytime I touch the ball. But Ive got to be able to get into the right areas for the quarterback to get me the ball.And that, right there, is the catch for Banks as training camp opens at Redskins Park this week.The 24-year-old is well established as a punt and kick off returner, having filled that role each of the past two seasons in Washington. Now, though, the diminutive fan favorite has about a month to prove he can run routes, overcome his size disadvantage, find openings in coverage and, of course, snag Robert Griffin IIIs powerful passes, too.There are 12 wide receivers currently listed on the Redskins roster. That deep corps is headlined by free agent additions Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, veteran Santana Moss and the emerging Leonard Hankerson.In minicamp, Banks saw time at each receiver spot and impressed the coaching staff. Hes also reportedly packed 10 more pounds onto his 5 foot 7, 155-pound frame.My mindset is to contribute at wide receiver, show the coaches I can run a route, catch the ball and make plays without a punt return or kick return, Banks said. Thats my main concern. Im just trying to get a connection with the quarterback, so hopefully I can be here this year.In addition to practicing his route running and studying the playbook this offseason, Banks said he also spent time at rehab facilities in Arizona and North Carolina working on strengthening his left knee, which required surgery in 2010. Lingering discomfort in the joint bothered him off and on most of last season, too, he conceded.Im a hundred percent, Banks said. I went back to the doctor that did my surgery, and he checked me out and told me exactly what I needed.I went back home to Raleigh, he added, and really focused on myself and my rehab. Its back. Im back. Im back in full effect.Banks understands the daunting task hell face in the coming weeks. But hes also confident that his skill set and specifically his speed and elusiveness will ultimately help him secure one of the 53 spots on the opening day roster.I dont think nobody has an advantage, he said, referring to the receivers he must beat out. Guys have certain skills, certain talents. Mine is speed.
Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game.
Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.
Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.
For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.
Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014.
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When longtime Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott, there was general consensus that Prescott won the job fair and square when Romo got injured.
Romo himself said as much. But there are still people around the NFL who feel Dallas didn't do right by their 10-year starter.
As Romo was leaving the field after the Cowboys lost to the Packers in the playoffs, Pepper Burruss, Green Bay's director of sports medicine, approached him. A microphone picked up Burruss saying what sounds like, "You deserve better."
Take a listen.
It's possible Burruss could have meant something else, like Romo deserved better injury luck. Maybe.
Also keep in mind that Romo may have been leaving the field as a Cowboy for the final time of his career. What a note to leave on...
The 36-year-old has said he still wants an opportunity to start in the NFL. That won't happen in Dallas, so it's likely he'll move on to another team this offseason.
According to Adam Schefter on ESPN Radio, the Cowboys may be willing to trade Romo to the team of his choice.
Speculation has linked him to the Broncos, Bears, Jets and Texans.
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins interviewed internal candidate for DC