It might have taken some people by surprise that the Kansas City Chiefs would be interested in Brian Banks. When the former USC linebacker commit was recently released from jail after 62 months served for a rape did not commit, the Chiefs were among the teams initially listed as interested in looking at Banks as a free agent. Considering the team’s depth and roster, it shouldn’t be a surprise at all.
The Chiefs have a strong defensive mind in Romeo Crennel at head coach now and he’s been in Kansas City long enough to know his personnel inside and out. The team knows exactly what it wants each player to do at this point and it should be clear that the veterans who are present are able to do those things. Rookies like Dontari Poe and Dequan Menzie were brought in to help certain areas, but linebacker was left untouched in the draft and free agency.
ESPN’s Bill Williamson writes, “Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli has never struck me as someone who is interested in novelties or participating in publicly stunts. If he is interested in giving Banks a chance to be a Chief, Pioli must think it is worth exploring.”
Williamson is absolutely right in this one: KC would not just say they are interested for any sort of PR move. Other teams around the league might pull that sort of stunt, but the Chiefs are all business all of the time. Banks could compete as a special teams player to see if he could stick at a position where there are eventual spots to fill.
Then again, a player like Banks is going to have a long road ahead. Staying in shape is only the foundational work that a player must do. The reality is that Banks hasn’t been in a playbook for nearly a decade. He hasn’t earned game experience. The product would be so raw that he would likely need a lot of specialized coaching and attention.
But any potential help to the roster is worth checking out. It’s only a bonus that Banks’ story is so great.