There are many aspects of a football team. While a return specialist may be just one small part of the team, it is a position that can drastically change the face of a game, switch momentum and pump up the crowd. The starting return specialist position for the Washington Redskins in the 2013 NFL season is up for grabs, with fierce competition.
In 2012, receiver Brandon Banks started the year as the prime returner. Banks has been a fan favorite since he joined the Redskins in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. He currently is the lightest player in the NFL, weighing in at 149 pounds.
After a promising preseason, Banks did little in the regular season and lost his position to TE Niles Paul and CB Richard Crawford. Banks is now an unrestricted free agent and although Paul performed well at the end of last year, there is no guarantee he will receive the starting spot.
Paul knows he will have to earn the spot again in 2013, and the Redskins’ new special teams coordinator Keith Burns has other players in mind as well, including CBs Josh Wilson and Crawford, WRs Josh Morgan, Aldrick Robinson, Syke Dawson and Nick Williams, as well as RBs Evan Royster and Roy Helu.
One possibility is that the Redskins will choose not to have a pure return specialist, but rather choose a player from the 46-man game-day roster to fill the position as needed. There is a lot of talent on the team, and there will be plenty of opportunity in the preseason to win the position — and every player knows it. Fans can expect some exciting plays on special teams in 2013.