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Gary Banks,time to get real

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 30, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Enough with Bolts practice squad; time to get real

    By Nick Canepa, UNION-TRIBUNE COLUMNIST
    Sunday, May 30



    Gary Banks gets it. He’s 28 years of age and has yet to play a down, catch a pass or make a tackle in the NFL. This is his time, his inning. There’s a place for him now. It’s doubtful the window of opportunity will open wider than it has at this moment. He knows it. So do the Chargers.
    It’s all up to Gary Banks. No one else. He either makes it or he doesn’t. Coaches select players they best believe can help them win. Coaches are weird that way. If they didn’t like him, he wouldn’t still be here, but you still have to contribute in real games.
    Banks is a wide receiver who, after signing with San Diego as an undrafted free agent in 2008 following a three-year stint in the Cubs’ minor league organization and four years of college football at Troy, has spent the past two seasons on the Chargers’ practice squad.
    The Chargers were jammed at wideout. Only an injury epidemic at the position was going to place him on the 53-man roster. But now that Kassim Osgood is chasing his dream of catching more passes by moving on to Jacksonville, the fifth receiver spot is there for the taking.
    Who knows? There could be more openings. Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, wideouts Nos. 1 and 2, are restricted free agents who have yet to sign their tenders. But common sense says that, sooner or later, they’re going to sign — either that, or with a possible players’ lockout looming in 2011, risk not making a dime for two years.
    So, with Jackson and Floyd absent, the Chargers just finished minicamp with Buster Davis and Legedu Naanee as their only experienced outside receivers. That’s left Banks and some undrafted free agents to get some reps, and if Banks has a head start on the field in the race for that fifth spot, it’s all right with him.
    But he must perform — and not just running routes, getting open and catching passes, but on special teams. Osgood was a Charger for seven seasons not because he was Jerry Rice; he doubled as one of the better special teams players in The League.
    If Banks can’t perform on “teams,” chances are he’ll be looking for work elsewhere. Players can be on practice squads for just three seasons and you have to believe that, if Banks doesn’t make the 53 this time around, it will be his last chance here.
    “Things are going good,” Banks was saying during a minicamp break. “I’m getting a lot of work in and this is an opportunity for me to fine-tune my abilities. It’s time for me to contribute. This is a pivotal time for me, a great opportunity for me to make the squad.
    “Plus, with Vincent and Malcom not here, there is extra opportunity, getting a chance to work with Philip (quarterback Philip Rivers) and the first team. I’m getting reps with the first team, and that’s big. I’m just taking advantage of Kassim moving on to do great things. And I’ll do anything I can to make this team.”
    It’s not the same, being on a practice squad, where players do a lot of dirty work — Banks has posed as the opposition’s No. 1 receiver and even played cornerback in drills — and don’t make anywhere near the money. Practice squad guys make around $88,000 a year. Rookies who make the 53-man roster earn a minimum of $285,000.
    “It’s tough,” Banks said. “You must do the grunt work, but I love it. I love football. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. I’m riding it out and enjoying myself. The last two years on the practice squad have helped me fine-tune my ability to get better, run better routes. I’ve come a long way since my first year. I understand the position. I believe I’m ready.”
    A return to the practice squad certainly doesn’t fit into Banks’ plans. He’s had enough.
    “I don’t want to go back,” he said. “You can spend three years on the practice squad, but it’s not something I’m striving for. I’d like to leave that spot open for somebody else.
    “It’s a position where you’re not able to settle down and buy a house. It’s year to year, waiting for the final cut. You’re married and have two kids and you’re in limbo. You have to wait.”
    Coaches are reluctant to heap kudos on practice squad players for the simple reason that they’re fair game. Any team can swoop in and take a player off the squad. But Chargers head coach Norv Turner admires Banks and his perseverance.
    “He played baseball and had obvious success in college as a football player after he hadn’t played the game in a while,” Turner said. “He’s as hard-working a guy as we have out here.
    He knows our offense and he has an opportunity now. He’s a compact guy (6-feet, 193 pounds), so he’s going to run change-of-direction routes and underneath routes, working around linebackers. He has a good feel for it.”
    As Banks puts it: “I believe I have the ability to play in the NFL; if not here, elsewhere. Right now, I’m living the moment.”
    Maybe that moment will last long enough for Gary Banks to actually meet a real estate agent.
     
  2. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    Que some Trumpet love.
     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Gary Banks is going to turn some heads this year... :abq2:

    Oh my God I sound like trumpy... :lol:



    [​IMG]
     
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Banks has great hands, tough, hard worker, but he's going to have trouble beating Father Time if any of these young guys step up.
     
  5. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I'd love to see Banks excel and have a great career especially for his advanced age. The best thing he's got going for him as I see it, no wear and tear, that might be the difference maker.
     
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    NFL Network was waiting for me that day. Someone told the interviewer that the trumpet rode shot gun and all others ride in the back seat (they were joking) but on that day... Sure enough ... the trumpet rode shot gun that day. :abq2:

    Gary " in the" Banks = Charlie Joiner :yes:

    For it has been written :bolt:
     
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  7. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Basically Greg Camarillo 2.0.

    Not sure why he's still here though, at best he's got limited upside.
     
  8. sickswonnyne

    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Camarillo is a starter in Miami (for now). Even as a 3rd or 4th WR, that's not exactly a bad comparison to be in. I'd be happy with Camarillo clone as a 4th.
     
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