Falcons’ Dimitroff: Brian Banks is not a charity case, he can compete


Did the Falcons sign Brian Banks because they legitimately believe he has a chance to make the team? Or did they sign him because they want to do something nice for a guy whose football career was stolen from him when he was falsely accused of rape?

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff knows that’s a reasonable question, but he said on NFL Network today that the Falcons aren’t bringing Banks in to do him a favor. They’re bringing him in because he can play football.

This isn’t a charity case. This is a great feel-good story but also one we believe he can come in here and compete,” Dimitroff said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Banks was a well-regarded high school player who had earned a scholarship to USC before he went to prison in 2002 for a crime he didn’t commit, so he may have the talent to be an NFL player. But realistically, Banks is an extreme long shot to make it in the NFL. The false rape accusation 11 years ago ended his hopes of playing in college, and the entirety of his football experience since then is two games with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, for whom he recorded one tackle. It’s almost impossible for a player with that little experience and that much time away from the game to get to the NFL.

But “almost impossible” and “impossible” aren’t the same thing, and Dimitroff says Banks understands the challenge he has ahead of him.

“He knows it is tough,” Dimitroff said. “Everyone knows that when they step through the doors here that it is a long journey. He is well on his way to achieving what he wants to achieve in his journey but there is still a long distance to go. He understands that, we understand that. As far as putting a probability on it, it is difficult to say. Given his character, his makeup and what he has gone through – much more than you or I would even imagine going through – that speaks volumes of his perseverance and drive to continue to learn and grow. He has been away from the game for a while but we are confident he will work very, very hard when the time is appropriate to learn the system and do whatever he can to increase his chances to make the football team.”

Those chances are slim, but Banks will have football fans rooting for him.

46 responses to “Falcons’ Dimitroff: Brian Banks is not a charity case, he can compete

  1. good for the falcons.. i was hoping the giants gave him a shot lord knows we need any lb help we can get and whats the worst that will happen.. he cant play gets put on pratice team or cut..no reason this guy couldnt get a chance..glad someone did

    now to other news..is that b***h in jail yet for lying to police, false accusations and taking the taxpayers money yet?!? great system we have huh?

  2. Not sure how you intended to end the story, but the kid is one of my favorite players now. Given how much he has persevered I imagine he is studying the playbook intently. If anyone can claw his way into the league its Brian; look at what he had to do just to clear his name…there’s a lot of fight in that dog!

  3. well atleast somebodies giving him a chance. i wonder why the other team didnt give him a chance. i would have.

  4. It’s charity, we all know this…

    Hopefully he’ll get a shot in the CFL after he’s released by the falcons.

  5. Good. I hope Brian makes it onto the team, even as a PS member. He deserves a chance at fulfilling his dream just like anyone else does. Not a Falcons fan but will root for him!

  6. If the guy can play special teams, he can make the Falcons and then learn how to play NFL linebacker.

    It’s a no risk/possible high reward gamble for the Falcons.

  7. Brian Banks is why everyone needs to take a deep breath every time some famous athlete is accused of something. Lately it was Trent richardson, before him Demaryius Thomas, and LeSean McCoy. Newsflash; rich athletes whose best asset is skills not brains a target for opportunistic women looking for financial security for life for giving it up once (if that).

  8. I don’t care what team this guy gets on, I hope he makes it. He deserves everything he gets. He hasn’t slandered the lady who ruined his life, he’s put it behind him and is focusing forward. So many guys take for granted what they have an squander their potential. It was falsely taken away from him and he has the drive to get it back. Good Luck.

  9. The first thing I thought was “let’s see what he can do” and the first thing everyone else asks “is this a charity media thing?” I bet the kid is ripped and angry and football sounds like an outlet and that might translate into ability. Let him play if he can play.

  10. I hope he makes the team, but I feel sorry for him if they have to face the Broncos because he’s going to feel like he was back in jail after we rape that defense.

  11. Fans forget their is this thing called the practice squad.

    Plenty of below-average players sit on the practice squad making 40 or 50k on the year to practice with the team, learn the systems, play on the scout team, etc.

    If Banks even makes it through camp and then gets signed to a practice squad, it wouldn’t be a 1/2 bad way to make ends meet while living his dream.

    In addition, if after a whole year on a practice squad, Banks puts it together even as just a special teamer, the Falcons get something for virtually nothing.

  12. Making the team would complete an epic story of inspiration- wow, how can’t we cheer this guy on?

  13. ….Brian Banks is why everyone needs to take a deep breath every time some famous athlete is accused of something.

    No, this happened between High School and College. He had no money and probably had a ‘free’ lawyer.

    The Seattle Seahawks had him in camp last year. Pete saw the potential, but they were stocked at LB and he was cut before the end of training camp.


  14. Who cares if it’s a charity case or not, the guy deserves a chance anyways. It’s disgusting that the person who accused him got to waste all of the money she was awarded, is now living on our tax dollars, and isn’t going to jail for committing her crime.

  15. I think this ups the chances that the Falcons are this year’s Hard Knocks team. I’d much rather watch this kid’s journey than Fat Rex any time.

  16. Who is the idiot who even thought this might be a charity case? Yeah I’m sure between preparing for the draft and free agency and trying to re up Matt Ryan he would waste some time and money feeling sorry for Brian banks. Excellent thinking media man

  17. You’ve got to love the kid. Just give him a chance. We we’ve screwed him over enough to say we owe him the chance. Whether he can meet the challenge is his question. But, does he deserve the chance, I challenge anyone of you to change places with Banks, and then tell me no, don’t give me a chance

  18. I’m not sure how this guy is going to make the most talented team that Osi has ever seen though. Cause what Osi thinks is obviously truth

  19. Dude I hope if this guy doesn’t make the team they try and integrate him into the coaching staff or I’d like to see the NFL give this guy a job!!!

    If nothing his story alone would teach these younger athletes the risks of being highly regarded, highly wanted, and really rich.

    But man I hope this kid gets ONE NFL snap.
    That would give inspiration to a wealthy amount of people who don’t have much, or feel like everything was taken from ’em.

  20. I’m glad Pete Carroll took the time to contact this kid and encourage him to continue to comPETE and follow his football dreams. He was a highly touted recruit for USC that got away and once Pete was notified of his story he gave him a invite.

    This man’s persevered through a lot of tough times that, quite frankly pisses the great majority of us off and has been positive since last season when he was around the Seahawks camp.

    Hope he makes it, and continues to use this platform positively to spread a forgiving and overcoming obstacles type message.

  21. I really hope this isn’t a publicity stunt by the Falcons and that they give him a legit shot. That’s all Banks wants right now, is for someone to believe in him and give him an opportunity. Now it’s up to Banks to make the most of it. If there’s one guy in all of sports who deserves it, it’s Brian Banks.

  22. What he went through matured him and his body hasn’t taken the abuse it would have in college play. Maybe he can do well and have a long career. I wish him well.

  23. Sorry, but I just can not get over the fact that Wanetta Gibson is not currently in jail for sending this kid to prison and sex offender registry….

    And then she sued the school district and took them for 1.5M.

  24. I will be rooting him on. He fought to clear his name, he fought to get into the NFL, he will fight to play! Inspiration! Get em Brian!!!

  25. Ummm. I know we all like the story, but how many mike-backers have fat pointy boobs? See photo. And being a college recruit doesn’t mean your even close to a real pro prospect.

  26. It would be ironic if he made the Steelers roster. Then they’d have a guy wrongly jailed for rape and a rapist wrongly not prosecuted for rape(s).

  27. Banks needed a full year out of jail to start eating healthy and get some pop back in his muscles. His arena league stats are irrelevant.

    If he makes a Mike Smith team he will have earned it.

    Of course, I want to see him make it. It would be an amazing story for him to make this run.

  28. As long as Tim Tebow is playing in the NFL then he has a chance too! He could switch positions to QB. No way he could throw the ball any worse.

  29. Hey ya’ll give the guy a break! Haven’t ya ever seen ‘The Longest Yard?!!!

    He would have been a good signing for the Jets given our salary cap.lol

    Though I’ve always hated The Falcons because when I was 13 my mom made me get a winter Falcons jacket instead of the Jets one because ‘thats the one that was on sale’! It almost got me killed one night outsside the local roller rink when I threw a snowball at a car & unbeknownst to me the guy driving was on a drug induced high and was able to single me out because of the red color of the jacket. Crazed he would have completely slaughtered if not killed me unless like a movie this red headed Bruce Lee – Like Irish guy suddenly stepped between us & proceeded to roundhouse the guy in the face. Then they both ran to cars, peeled rubber & drove away on a high speed chase as I stood there dumbfounded in semi-shock with my mouth open. I know it sounds a bit fantastic but it happened!

    So I’m no bird fan but if he makes the team I will finally put all this to rest & maybe even catch the Jets vs Falcons this year since I’m living in Atlanta.

    I am rooting for you Brian! Good Luck!!!

  30. Followed this case since his arrest. Girl should have to do just as much time as he did for false claims!!!! I hope he does well!!

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