Key Battle: Depth at this position is young, but plentiful, and determining who stays and who goes could be a difficult decision for the coaching staff. The sentimental choice is Banks, who is easy to root for with his incredible story of how he got here, but he’s shown an impressive amount of growth since he signed with the Falcons in March. But Schiller, who spent last year on the practice squad, will be looking to take a step in his second season in Atlanta. College free agents Clancy, Bartu and Worrilow all looked solid during OTAs and minicamps. But for all these players, special teams could be the proving ground to determine who ultimately stays and who goes.
For all of the Brian Banks supporters, this is a situation that should come with mixed emotions. On one hand, the Falcons linebacking core is arguably the weakest area of the team. However, on the other hand, Banks has a lot of competition from other young unproven guys. As much as I want Banks to succeed in the NFL, I know that the team is not going to make the “sentimental choice” that Adams brings up, but instead, the right one.
The team definitely loves Banks’ work ethic and attitude like everyone else, but at the end of the day they are going to do what is best for the team’s success. Whether or not Banks is the man for the job will likely be determined during training camp.
Alex Welch over at The Falcoholic also touched on Banks’ role with the team this year in their mailbag:
I haven’t seen Banks in action, so I’m not ready to declare him as the leader of the pack for the fifth linebacker spot. Most reports speak highly of his work ethic and determination. If he can prove himself in training camp, there’s potential to grow. The linebacking corps isn’t outstanding in Atlanta. Banks could contribute on special teams and work his way into situational use, at least starting out.
It seems like there is definitely a solid opportunity for Banks to make an impact on the team whether that is rotating in at linebacker or as a special teams guy. For now, we will just have to sit back and let the battle unfold during training camp.