Is Johnthan Banks On Cusp Of Elite?

December 7th, 2013

johnthan banks 1207

Joe was as shocked as just about anyone two weeks ago, when Bucs stud cornerback Darrelle Revis left late in the first half in Detroit and rookie Johnthan Banks replaced Revis and had to go toe-to-toe with the greatest wide receiver of our generation, Calvin Johnson, and Banks won the battle.

It may have been the turning point of his young NFL career. A rookie showing he could hang with the likes of Johnson and the confidence that builds, Joe can’t describe how good that is.

Well, the chieftain of, Scott Reynolds, decided to do research, and has found that not only is Banks arguably the best rookie corner in the NFL this season. He is having one of the best rookie seasons for any Bucs rookie cornerback in franchise history.

It’s interesting to note that Banks has had a better rookie season statistically than the three cornerbacks on Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl team – Barber, Kelly and Smith. With four games remaining, the Mississippi State product has the chance to surpass Talib and his teammate, Johnson, and become one of the best rookie cornerbacks in team history.

“I try not to let stats get in the way,” Banks said. “I just try to keep getting better. I want to be in this league a long time. I love playing football. I think I’ve had a pretty decent rookie season and keep getting better and doing what my coaches ask me to do. I’ve bought into this system and it’s worked out pretty well for me. Anything I can do to make myself better as a player I’ll do.”

Not just that, but for example, Banks is having a far better year than gun-toting, granny-hassling, coach-cussing Aqib Talib had (with far, far, far less drama, legal hassles and none of the speed-bagging of cabbies, as well). The only rookie Bucs corner with better numbers than Banks, per Reynolds, was Donnie Abraham, who had 60 tackles, 12 breakups and five picks in 1996.

Banks is why you will not see the Bucs draft a defensive back in the first two days of the draft.

17 Responses to “Is Johnthan Banks On Cusp Of Elite?”

  1. Adam L. Says:

    The Bucs have so many “elite” players. We are so blessed. And we have a media that likes to remind us that they are elite.

    You know what the Bucs DONT have? Wins.

    Joe Montana never had the media telling us he was elite… We just knew it. As soon as you start telling people you’re elite, you’re automaticAlly not.

  2. Luther Says:

    I here what you are say Adam but he’s just speculating that the guy could be a player. It really makes sense because he is learning from the best. I play chess so I’ll use that as an analogy, if you are learning from Gary Kasparov,you have a better chance of being a great player than if you are learning from your dad.

  3. Northend Says:

    Unless your dad is Bobby Fischer .lol

  4. terraj35 Says:

    Wow joe. I gotta say if I was visiting the site for the first time and saw this headline I would never return. Banks is so far from elite. He’s looked slow and outmatched all season. Please don’t tell me you’re trying to give him credit for the final play of the Lions game. Calvin just dropped the ball. He’s shown improvement, but he’s not even a borderline def rookie of the year candidate. You’re use of the word elite reminds me of when you use to call freeman a franchise qb…

  5. Harry Says:

    I like the positive report; it is encouraging for next year. I get we don’t have wins, and agree with the point. But, don’t we have enough negativity? Every freaking Sunday is like going to a funeral.

  6. madmacskillz Says:

    I agree with Harry. This is a good post – who the hell wants to read nothing but bad stuff?

  7. BucFanForever Says:

    And playing through a bout of MRSA. Way to go Banks.

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe, I think it is possible the Bucs draft a CB on the second day because they’ll want a year to train Revis’ replacement. He’ll be the first salary cap casualty in 2015. Just cutting him adds $15 mill to the cap (or close to it).

    terraj35, I don’t think Joe was saying Banks is elite. Use your brain. First, it was a quote from PR. Second, “cusp” means he isn’t there yet.

    I realize it is hard to grasp, but very few rookies are elite out of the gate, especially CBs. They usually take 2-3 years to reach their potential. Same with Safeties and linebackers.

  9. Chris Says:

    Were still a young team. To me the rebuilding project had to re-boot in 2012 when schiano came aboard.

    Dom needs to go. Of his 5 high prices fas and trade acquisitions the past 2 years, only Vincent Jackson has given us the ROI. It’s build through the draft and add guys that fit your scheme.fix the pass rush and the secondary will be better. V

  10. d-money Says:

    @Adam L

    “As soon as you start telling people you’re elite, you’re automaticAlly not.”

    I missed the part of this article where Banks or any of the other players said that they were elite.

    Also on a somewhat related note by your logic if saying you are elite means that you’re automatically not then does that mean that….

    Deon Sanders, Jim Brown, Terrell Owens, Jerry Rice,Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Deacon Jones, Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Maywhether, any boxer who has ever won a championship belt, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille Oneal, Labron James and many many more can not be considered elite?…because they have all been known to toot their own horn quite a bit.

    Saying your elite doesn’t mean you are not it just means you’d better have the skills to back it up.

    There are a lot of people ion the outside saying a couple of Bucs are elite but I haven’t heard it once from any of the actual played themselves.

  11. Adam L. Says:

    That’s the point, d-money. The media shouldn’t have to DECLARE someone elite. It reeks of promotion. We would just know it. It’s not a rubber stamp that you just start punching people with.

    You know that song “Party Anthem” by LMFAO? It sucks balls. It’s also NOT an anthem, party or otherwise. KISS didn’t have to tell you that “Rock and Roll All Nite” was a “rock anthem.” It just is.

    So all these media outlets who are DESPERATELY trying to get us to LOVE Gerald McCoy (is there a story about Gerald McCoy that doesn’t have the phrase “even though the stat sheet doesn’t show it?”) and now Jonathan Banks by saying, “Ooh ‘elite'” are just blowing smoke. If you have to say it, they’re NOT.

    And don’t give me this crap about “Joe writing something positive.” There isn’t a buttload of positive this season and inventing dressy labels for players on a 3-win team stinks of suck-assery.

    My journalism teacher in high school told me something that stuck with me: “Newspapers don’t write about planes that take off safely.”

    Newspapers used to write about successful airplane trips all the time — when most weren’t successful. –Joe

  12. Joe Says:

    I missed the part of this article where Banks or any of the other players said that they were elite.


  13. d-money Says:


    I see your point and what you are getting at. However I completely disagree that the media doesn’t retite stories telling you that those guys are elite.

    If I see one more story on ESPN telling me how great Tom Brady is ill probably throw something through my TV. Same goes with Ray many stories last season were we subjected to telling us how great he is.

    The national media are always jumping on bandwagons of the top players.

    It’s very rare that a Buc player gets any credit at all from the national media and the local media guys can’t wait to tear down the Bucs so when they do write a positive story about GMac or Lavonte David or even Mike Glennon it is usually because they’ve done something to get noticed.

  14. d-money Says:


    I get what you’re saying but I totally disagree.

    If I see another story on ESPN about Ton Brady I’m going to smash my TV. How many times last year were we subjected to stories about how great Ray Lewis is.

    The National media are always pumping up great players to capitalize on their popularity and also trying to find the next big thing before the other guys do.

    The national guys rarely give Bucs players any credit and the local guys are just itching to tear down the Bucs so when they write something positive about GMac, Lavonte David, Mike Glennon or even Banks it’s usual because they’ve done something to get noticed.

    You do realize that just because a team is 3-9 doesn’t meant that everyone on the team is terrible..Just like everyone on a Super Bowl champion team isn’t an elite player. Football is the ultimate team sport…ever hear of Barry Sanders? Arguably the best running back ever and he played on some awful Lions teams.

  15. d-money Says:

    Sorry about my previous posts if they are duplicate. There was a delay in the first one showing up so I typed it out again thinking I had lost the first one.

  16. d-money Says:

    Also Adam ,

    Your journalism teacher’s quote doesn’t really apply here.

    That point of that quote is that they don’t write about planes that take off safely because it happens all the time. They right about the crashes because they are rare..and well, usually a lot of people are dead.

    If It did apply here.. I would argue that you are making my point for me. Newspapers don’t normally write about 3-9 teams…unless there is something out of the ordinary going on..IE a player who is playing at a high level despite being on a 3-9 team…and they would prob write about them if a lot of people were dead as well.

  17. BuccoBill Says:

    Joe, I thought L. Johnson had better rookie stats as well? Am I wrong about that?