WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Here's a pretty safe assumption regarding the Redskins position battle at wide receiver: Pierre Garcon, Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss, Josh Morgan and Anthony Armstrong will make Washington's 53-man roster.
Another inference several beat reporters have made throughout training camp: the Redskins will be keeping six receivers.
For the sake of this argument, at this point, I am going to rule out Aldrick Robinson making the roster. He's had a few poor outings the past few days at Redskins Park and has zero NFL game experience.
So that leaves the incumbent return man Brandon Banks against third-year pro Terrence Austin.
finally healthy this year," Banks said following practice on Monday. "The last two years after my knee surgery, I
haven't been 100 percent. Now, I have my burst back. I got the quickness
back in my game. I feel real good."
"The type of mindset I
have is that I must compete every year, if I want to keep my job," said Austin on Monday.
"The competition has been thick my rookie year, it was thick last year
and it's thick again this year. It's no different. I'm just out here
trying to compete."
If you ask those who have been to everyday of camp so far, most will surprisingly tell you that the 5-foot-7, 153 lb. Banks has looked more explosive and reliable than Austin.
The pros and cons with keeping Banks are one within the same. His small frame can be perceived as a negative because tackling him is regularly an easy task. But his size can also be a a positive thing because of his ability to squirt in and out of tight spaces, and his big play ability.
Austin caught 12 passes last season for 137 yards, and is considered a more natural pass catcher out of the two. Still, when you are talking about a sixth receiver, the ability to contribute on special teams is as important as lining up in a shotgun five-wide formation.
Austin has been fielding punts and realizes there is an opportunity to solidify himself as the return man. In 2011, Banks' numbers slipped in both kick and punt returns -- down to 23.0 yards per kick and 9.1 yards per punt, with zero touchdowns.
"If that's what it comes down too...anything will help," Austin said about starring on special teams.
Even though the coaches are reviewing film of every practice, both know their fates will be decided once the preseason begins. The Redskins first game is at Buffalo next Thursday, August 9th.
"I gotta' show up in preseason. I gotta' show them I can play wide receiver. That's basically what it's going to be, for me" Banks stated.
"Coach reminds us everyday that guys are out here making plays, and guys are out here not making plays," said Austin. " If you want to make this football team, you have to know what you are doing. The evaluation never stops."
My money is on Banks. He just has a more boom-or-bust potential, something you want with a sixth wide out. Who is your guy?