To the fans, it was week one of the Atlanta Falcons’ preseason…but to rookie linebacker Brian Banks, it was the realization of an impossible dream.
The Brian Banks story is known far and wide by now, but the culmination of his journey is what brought tears to more than a few eyes during his NFL debut this past Thursday night. The Falcons lost the game, but it was a definite win for Banks. It wasn’t a bad showing for him either; in his time on the field he did get two tackles (Pat Schiller got the credit for one of them, but it was Banks who brought down Cincinnati Bengals’ running back Daniel Herron).
The big disappointment was the short amount of time Banks was actually on the field. Perhaps it was the dominating and unexpected emergence of fellow rookie linebacker Paul Worrilow that kept Banks’ time on the field to a minimum, but I expect Banks’ playing time to increase as the preseason continues. This is the perfect time for him to showcase what he’s learned and what having a strong work ethic really means.
There are no guarantees that Banks will make the final roster, but he is okay with that. After all, there was a dark time when he’d never get to see an NFL game, much less play in one. Even if he doesn’t, he won’t quit and he won’t give up; he’s a valuable inspiration to anybody who’s ever thought their dreams and goals would never come to fruition. Any team would benefit from having Banks on their roster; I believe he’ll be able to see his journey through with the Falcons.