‘Still just getting in my mojo’: MOP Brandon Banks trying to ‘grease up’ for explosive plays

Photo courtesy: Ticats.ca/Nik Kowalski

Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ star Brandon Banks hasn’t been living up to his nickname in 2021, yet.

The man affectionately known as ‘Speedy B’ is noticing opposing defences treating him with increased attention since earning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award in 2019.

“Of course. Anytime you’re running routes and you turn around and see the safety on top of you every other play, you have no choice but to notice it. That’ll open up somebody else, so I take it as a plus,” Banks said.

Through three games this season, the 33-year-old has 15 receptions for 112 yards — 37.3 yards per game — with no touchdowns. In 2019, Banks recorded 112 catches for 1,550 yards — 96.8 yards per game — with 13 touchdowns — leading the CFL in those three major receiving categories.

“I’m still just getting in my mojo, I’m a little old now so I’m trying to grease up these muscles and legs. I’m going to be patient and attack the defences the same as I did last season. Hopefully the ball comes my way soon,” Banks said.

“I think he’s going to get going. Speedy’s a special player, he was the MOP last season for a reason. He still does a lot of things that people don’t necessarily see because he hasn’t been getting the ball, but my man is working,” quarterback Dane Evans said.

During practice on Friday head coach Orlondo Steinauer was seen having a conversation with Banks and could be heard encouraging his diminutive playmaker. Banks has played with Jeremiah Masoli and Dane Evans for multiple years, so it doesn’t matter which QB is starting and pulling the trigger — he’s comfortable with both pivots.

“That’s the coach’s decision. I’m going to go out there and play my hardest so he looks like he made the best decision,” Banks said.

Masoli missed day one of preparation for the Labour Day Classic match-up against the rival Toronto Argonauts due to a doctors appointment and did not take any first-team reps on the second day. It appears Evans will start on the holiday Monday and he wants to put the ball in Banks’ hands down the field.

“I missed him, I completely missed him in Montreal on one that would’ve been a walk-in touchdown. I just got excited, saw he was going to come open and missed the throw,” Evans said.

“It’s a little bit of everybody. We gotta execute a little better. I’m ready for him to go off and everybody else is too.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.