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.
Football players prefer to regulate their sport without fines and penalties, and in 2017, social media can be a platform for any and all declarations.
After Terrelle Pryor took a direct hit to his right knee in the Redskins win over the Rams, the receiver reached out to L.A. safety Cody Davis via Twitter with a polite, but firm, message.
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Standing 6'6", Pryor is one of the tallest receivers in the league. It makes sense he doesn't like getting hit in the knees, as any skilly player doesn't, but particularly with the increased height that could mean more safeties are coming in low on him.
Through two games Pryor has eight catches for 97 yards. The season hasn't started particularly strong for Pryor, though the 6-foot-5, 240 lb. wideout remains confident that his production will increase.
Pryor: “I am going to have a dominant season and it starts this week against Oakland.”— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 20, 2017
Redskins coach Jay Gruden did not go as far as Pryor, but does believe his team's pass game is "very close" to firing on all cylinders. QB Kirk Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards last season, but through two games this year, his statistics have been subpar.
To beat the undefeated Raiders, the Redskins will need a dominant performance from Pryor. He sounds like he's up for the job.
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JP Finlay and Rich Tandler put a bow on the trip to Los Angeles, then look at the early NFC East picture, talk adjustments post-Su'a Cravens and set over/unders vs. Oakland.
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