Banks Shows Maturity in First Minicamp

Banks Shows Maturity in First Minicamp

Jay Adams

Published May 4, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Surrounded by the likes of early-twenty-somethings, Falcons linebacker Brian Banks sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s not that he looks like he’s got some of his colleagues beat by six years in some cases, but rather it’s more prevalent in how he commands the field, both in his good moves and his mistakes.

Banks was signed by the Falcons before the draft to much fanfare as a 27-year-old rookie, who saw his football dreams all but crushed when he went to prison for five years for a crime he didn’t. After those five years in prison and another five on probation that didn’t allow him to give his football career a second chance, Banks was last year exonerated and now finds himself a life veteran among football rookies.

His first session on the field was spent running the defense at the middle linebacker spot, and he did so unlike what you might expect from someone who never played a snap of college football.

“It was real good today to get out there. I’ve been in film the last two weeks so to get a chance to get out there and put all the knowledge that we’ve been putting on paper out onto the field was a really good experience for the first time,” Banks said. “It was really fast-paced. I made a lot of really good moves, made a lot of mistakes, so adjustments will be made.”

There doesn’t appear to be any kind of physical or learning curve that Banks will experience with his fellow rookies, many of whom are fresh off their final plays of their college careers. Banks, who spent time with the Seahawks in camp last year, said he felt comfortable Saturday despite the lack of on-field time.

A big reason for that is Banks’ off-field training, which involves working with Jay Glazer — someone Banks credits for pushing him to the brink of his physical possibilities. From the mental standpoint, Banks has been working closely with second-year linebacker Pat Schiller in these early weeks of offseason preparation as the two have been going over film and studying together since voluntary workouts began.

“I think that he has taken so many strides forward as far as his football IQ goes, and it’s just unbelievable to me that he didn’t play in college because of his athleticism on the field and his ability to pick up the playbook,” Schiller said. “I think he’s going to be fine. He’s definitely got fresh legs.”

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