Tapping Brakes On Lansanah At MLB

December 12th, 2014
Bucs LB Danny Lansanah is a better outside linebacker, Bucs DC Leslie Frazier said.

Danny Lansanah is a better outside linebacker, Bucs DC Leslie Frazier said.

Recently, Lovie Smith made a not-so-subtle suggestion he wants to find more snaps for Danny Lansanah at middle linebacker.

Lansanah had lined up there against Detroit in place of starter Mason Foster, who has been slowed by an Achilles heel injury. Lansanah later bounced around after Lavonte David left with a concussion.

Previously, Lansanah had played excellently at strongside and weakside linebacker.

In fact, in a loss to the Bengals when Lavonte David was unable to go because of a bum hamstring, Lansanah racked up 13 solo tackles. For someone to suggest David was not missed is usually heresy on face value, but Lansanah played so well David wasn’t missed.

Lovie characterized Lansanah’s play at middle linebacker as “OK,” though he seemed encouraged enough to suggest he was worthy of more snaps there. Given how Foster is a free agent after this season, one could reasonably connect the dots and conclude Lansanah was being given a test run to see if he could handle the position as a starter for 2015.

Not so fast, said Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. In his weekly press briefing, Frazier all but said Lansanah is an outside linebacker, not a middle linebacker.

“He does some things that you like but I don’t know, necessarily, if we are looking at him as a future Mike [linebacker,] Frazier said. “We like the things he did outside when we had him outside full-time. Because of the injuries, he’s had to play Mike off and on. We like the things he did outside, as well — his playmaking ability. Ideally, we would like for him to be an outside backer.

“It’s extremely hard [to play all three linebacker positions]. On Sunday, he ended up switching positions twice, playing both the Mike and the Will in the ball game. And that’s tough, especially your first year in the system. It’s tough enough just to learn one position, much less the Mike, where you have to get everyone lined up and you have to be aware of the other guys at linebacker and what they’re doing. But to his credit, he’s been able to handle it.

“I’m sure it’s kind of taken away from some things – we were just going through our walk through, and there were some new things for him at a new position. So, it’s challenging, but that’s the plight that we’ve been in because of injuries. He’s done a terrific job of having to learn all three positions and play all three positions for us this season.”

Joe will take liberty with Frazier’s words; it seems that while the Bucs want Lansanah to get some more snaps at middle linebacker, the team believes he is best suited to play strongside linebacker. Let’s be honest, David is permanent on the weakside.

It seems the Bucs are open to exploring an upgrade at middle linebacker, or bracing for the possibility Foster may sign with another team. If Lansanah can get in work at middle linebacker, it would be, at worst, a safety net for the Bucs.

To hear more from Frazier, click on the arrow below. Audio player courtesy of WDAE-AM 620.

9 Responses to “Tapping Brakes On Lansanah At MLB”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Foster is also an outside linebacker…..wouldn’t mind 2nd or 3rd round pick being a MLB….

  2. Brandon Says:

    I would like to see Denzel Perryman drop about 15 lbs or so and become a Buc in round 2 or 3.

    That being said, Monte Kiffin used to say about the T-2 defense, “If you can play the Sam LB position in the T-2, you can play all 3 positions and that’s why all LBs that come in starting training at the Sam LB position.” How are things so different now. I know Kiffin is a tad long in the tooth, but he wasn’t when he said this with the Bucs, but how is Frazier’s opinion so vastly different from the original T-2 guru?

    I think if Lansanah can play Sam and Will, he can definitely play Mike. The Sam has to be strong and take on blocks, the Will has to play in space and tackle sideline-to-sideline and cover like a DB, the Mike has to play in space, make tackles sideline-to-sideline, and make the deep drop like a safety.

    I’m afraid if they don’t think Lansanah can cut it at Mike, we may see Lance Briggs taking over next season (and yes, I know he’s a Will, but like I said, Will and Mike are pretty interchangeable).

  3. Eczeutn Says:

    it’s clear Foster will be resigned. He performed relatively well at mike and Lovie is all about winning now so he won’t have time for a rookie learning the system. Foster you getting paid kid haha!!!

  4. BlakeJohnson Says:

    Hopefully, Fraizier won’t be here next year to help make the decision. This dude never had good a defense in Minnesota, his 2012 defense that put up okay numbers was helped out significantly by Adrian Peterson in Mvp form. He is the most basic/vanilla play caller in the world, and I blame our early defensive woes mostly on him.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    Frasier will be back with Lovie next year. They are both safe returns even after more sinking than swimming this season. Keep trying and find something that works.

  6. bucs4lyfe Says:

    better believe lovie is stubborn stupid and stuck on the past so much he’s going to invest a high pick in his future middle linebacker…not so worried about his ability to find the middle linebacker of the future being that he’s a defensive guy and he played the position, that helped schiano find lavonte. they are simply saying they like this guy at outside linebacker and also saying bye bye to mason foster……we’re gonna have a rookie middle linebacker next year

  7. getaclue Says:

    id rather have someone like jerrell freeman from the colts that is a free agent at the end of the year rather than briggs

  8. meh Says:

    Definitely keep him at SLB. He’s best there. More snaps at MLB is good so he can be a solid reserve at that spot. We’ll need to find a new MLB this offseason.

    And a QB… And an offensive line… And a DE… And some safeties… And a nickel CB…

  9. Buccinfan Says:

    Isn’t mason foster a natural OLB? So why can’t they just switch and unleash mason I believe he plays the middle thinking too much. If we move him outside he wouldn’t have to worry about everyone and their assignments and be the beast we’ve seen flashes of.