Takin' it to the Banks

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Korey Banks snared two more enemy passes Friday night.

Now the Renegades defensive back has got those fast hands on a CFL defensive player of the week award handed out yesterday.

Gee, you think the glib 25-year-old -- whose mouth got him into a fight in one of his first practices with Ottawa last year -- would like to talk about that?

Banks' two picks in the Renegades' win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders -- including a big one in the Ottawa end zone on the last play of the first half -- give him a league-leading five interceptions.

If that's not enough to start getting him some notice around the league, there is always the chance the blinding flash of his gold teeth while he talks a mile a minute will do the job.

"I want to be the Michael Jackson of football," said Banks after the Renegades practised yesterday. "I want everybody to know who I am."

Michael Jackson?

You sure about that?

"No, no, cut," said a laughing Banks to the assembled media and cameras. "Not Michael Jackson. Just say I want to be the next great one. I want to be a guy, people cry when they see you."

Opposition quarterbacks might have tears in their eyes if Banks keeps up his current interception pace.

He predicted in training camp he would have 12 this year and he's on pace for 15.

"I know I won't be stuck at five," he said. "I just make predictions so I have something to go with. I just said it for myself."

The defensive halfback said he's not worried his fat interception number and growing reputation will have opposition quarterbacks avoiding his area of the field.

"If you look at it, Milt Stegall in Winnipeg, Craig Yeast in Hamilton ... In Edmonton, Hervey, no, Tucker -- who is it? Jason? What's his name? Lewis, in Calgary. Who am I leaving out? What team? Toronto has Rob Baker. They're not going to stop going to those guys just because I'm lined up there. I expect it to be hard."

Banks, along with his teammates in the Ottawa secondary, are earning some respect. For the first three years of the Renegades' existence, the secondary struggled, but a strong group of young players is finding its way this year.

YOUNG SECONDARY

Along with Greg Bearman and Dave Donaldson, there are two rookies starting back there (Greg Moss and Sean Weston), a newcomer to the Renegades (Quincy Coleman) and Banks, in his second year.

"The biggest thing is we've got some young guys who have stepped up," said Renegades defensive back coach and assistant defensive co-ordinator Jaime Hill.

"They're able to do the things we're asking them to do.

"Korey Banks is a good player and he was a good player before he got here. There's no magic. We just had to get him to settle down somewhat. He was out of control a little bit. He has all the ability in the world and he's a confident individual."

The Renegades coaching staff has gotten Banks to play better within the zone concept and understand where and when he has help.

Banks didn't get too excited about his player of the week award.

"Not to sound stuck up, but it feels like a normal day," said Banks. "I appreciate the award. I won't lie and say I don't, but I don't want to have just one the whole year. There's 18 games. When I get two or three or four more, I'll appreciate it a little more.

"I feel like I deserve it. It's not the first time I've made plays. I haven't made a whole lot here, but I've made a few. I just want to have some respect around here."

It's on its way.


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