At 5-7, 155 pounds, you can understand how Redskins kick returner Brandon Banks might get overlooked. But the rookie free agent out of Kansas State has been making up what he lacks in size by using his speed and quickness to make people miss in the open field. In some respects, Banks is as dangerous as any weapon as the Redskins are bringing to New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday.
Banks ranks fifth in the NFL in kickoff returns with 31 for a 27.0 average, including a 96-yarder for a touchdown, and he's eighth in punt returns with 24 for 11.3 yards per return. Banks certainly has impressed head coach Tom Coughlin, who was asked what he has seen from the rookie.
"Running past everybody," Coughlin said. "Going towards the end zone faster than I would like to comment on. They count on field position with him. They had one called back last week when they had the lead in the fourth quarter. He's done a nice job."
Giants placekicker Lawrence Tynes said Banks belongs in a class with Dallas kickoff returner Dez Bryant and Philadelphia punt returner Da'Sean Jackson. Tynes said he studied every kickoff return Banks has made this season, but the Giants still plan to kick to him.
"We've recognized how good he is," Tynes said. "We're pretty good at what we do, too. We're top three in the NFL in covering kickoffs. It will be a big challenge and a big part of the game. We'll kick to him, and if he returns one, you would change that plan up. I think we feel pretty confident in what we're doing.
"We've done a good job the last six or seven weeks of covering kicks. He presents a really big challenge. He's not going to break any tackles, but you've got to catch him. He's really, really fast."