After finishing last in passing yards allowed in 2012, the Buccaneers secondary became the focus in the offseason. For General Manager Mark Dominik, the process was threefold: Bring in veterans Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis, and draft Johnthan Banks.
The result: Tampa Bay leads the NFL in interceptions with 21.
In his first 13 games as a pro, Banks got three of those interceptions — good enough to tie for second on the team. The Buccaneers rookie and top draft pick is the subject of this weeks Bucs Talk.
Q: What got you interested in playing football?
Answer: It was just the thing everybody did around my neighborhood. All the kids in my neighborhood, that’s all we knew. Play football, play basketball and baseball. And I guess I was just real good at it, and now I’m here.
Q: Who do you look up to most in the NFL?
Answer: Probably [Darrelle] Revis. Just because he’s my teammate, we play the same position and I feel like he’s the best at what we do. So I try to sit around him and learn a lot from him and hear him talk, hear how he thinks and just watch him play and watch how he progresses as the season goes on.
Q: What’s been the biggest thing you’ve learned this season?
Answer: (laughs) You’ve got to go hard every play or you get killed out there on that field. But one of the biggest things I’ve learned this season is it’s more about playing with technique here in the NFL and taking care of your body. That’s the biggest thing.
Q: What do you do to take care of your body?
Answer: I try to get a massage twice a week, try to stay in the hot tub, cold tub and just if I have a little nagging injury, try to get in the training room.
Q: I know you’re involved in the community and were even at Wal-Mart last week participating in “Shop With a Jock.” How was that and why is it important?
Answer: It was fun. Just getting back out there, just making people smile. People that’s less fortunate than us. God’s blessed us with a lot here, being able to play football and being able to make a lot of money doing it. So, there’s a lot of people that don’t have a lot of money that’s not getting Christmas presents, and just going out in the community trying to put a smile on someone’s face and I know if I can touch somebody’s heart, then I think I’ve done my job.
Q: What advice would you give to young athletes?
Answer: Don’t ever think you can’t do anything or let no one tell you, “You can’t do it.”