Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brandon Banks Returns to Ticats with '15 Grey Cup Title in His Sights

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brandon Banks Returns to Ticats with '15 Grey Cup Title in His Sights

Article excerpt

Banks has '15 Grey Cup in his sights


Brandon Banks has the 2015 Grey Cup squarely in his sights.

The elusive kick-returner/receiver met with reporters Friday, a day after signing a three-year contract extension with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Banks was slated to become a free agent Tuesday.

The five-foot-five 153-pound Banks -- aptly nicknamed "Speedy" -- said his primary reason for returning to Hamilton was to avenge last year's 20-16 Grey Cup loss to Calgary. Banks appeared to put the Ticats ahead on an electrifying 90-yard punt return TD with 35 seconds left but it was negated by a penalty, allowing the Stampeders to hold on for the win at B.C. Place Stadium.

"We came up short so we have some unfinished business," Banks said in a telephone interview. "That's pretty much the drive behind returning here.

"I feel like we've started something and we want to finish it."

The penalty call crushed Banks, who fell to his knees and pounded the turf repeatedly with his fists. Afterwards, he bolted from Hamilton's dressing room without speaking.

"I'm definitely over it," Banks said. "It's always going to be in the back of my mind but it is what it is.

"I feel like I've got another opportunity to bring a Cup to the city."

On Friday, Hamilton signed linebacker Taylor Reed and defensive lineman Antonio Coleman to extensions. Reed was the player flagged for an illegal block on the Banks return.

Banks said he had two offers to return to the NFL -- he spent three seasons with the Washington Redskins before coming to Hamilton in 2013 -- but both were short-term deals with no guaranteed money. So had he gone to training camp and been cut, he would have lost a half-season of earning power in the CFL.

"Even if I hit free agency, my mindset was always that I'd be in Hamilton because it's the best situation for me and my family," he said. "I had pretty much everything already established here and I love coach Kent (Ticats coach/GM Kent Austin).

"I didn't really care about how much money I was worth, I was just worried about what was the best situation and being happy. I have some stability here."

Banks factored heavily in Hamilton appearing in its second straight Grey Cup game last year. …

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