By Tarik El-Bashir
CSNwashington.comRedskins 30, Bucs 3Although the game was lightly attended and only a handful of starters ever saw the field, it was serious business for bubble players like Brandon Banks.Few Redskins are as polarizing as the pint-sized playmaker, particularly when the following question is posed: does he do enough, consistently, to deserve a spot on the 53-man roster?Wednesday was a mixed bag for Banks, who had a 47-yard reception and a 43-yard carry on a reverse. But he also dropped a pass, muffed a punt and a lost fumble. Banks returned punts for 15, 22, 18 and 11 yards. But he also mishandled a punt return in the second quarter and was fortunate not to lose possession deep in Washingtons end. (Last season, Banks led the league in muffed kicks and punts with a total of 7 but did not lose any of them.)On offense, Banks, generously listed 5 foot 7, 153-pounds, had an equally uneven outing.Told by Coach Mike Shanahan during training camp that he had to contribute at wide receiver, Banks was targeted three times. In the second quarter, he got two hands on a pass that was thrown a little behind him but couldnt hang on in the red zone. In the third quarter, he hauled in a 47-yard Kirk Cousins pass with a deft diving catch to help set up a touchdown.Later in the third, Banks made arguably the play of the game. He took a reverse 43 yards into the Buccaneers to spark another scoring drive.But it wasnt long before Banks was walking off the shaking his head. Late in the fourth quarter, Banks lined up in the backfield and was charged with a lost fumble on an exchange with seldom-used quarterback Jonathan Crompton.So, after four exhibition contests, were almost exactly where the argument began. Does the good outweigh the bad with Banks? On Friday well get the only opinion that matters, when Shanahan pare the Redskins roster from 75 to the regular season maximum of 53.
By Tarik El-Bashir