Getting Carried Away

July 1st, 2015
Future superstar?

Future superstar?

The Season of High Hyperbole doesn’t begin until Aug. 1. That’s when the Bucs begin training camp and, much like spring training baseball stories, you will read how every player is on the verge of the Pro Bowl and the Bucs are a step away from the Super Bowl.

As sports radio raconteur Mike North used to say, “Take it easy!”

Well, it seems the spreadsheeters have jumped the gun on the Season of High Hyperbole. The Pro Football Focus pocketprotectors have labeled a secret superstar on each team. With the Bucs being the caboose of the NFL with a smelly 2-14 record, one has to do deep digging — if not outright embellishing — to find a secret superstar.

Kevin Connaghan thinks he has found one. And that man is outside linebacker Danny Lansanah.

In terms of play on the field, the trait that jumps out first when watching Lansanah is his awareness. That awareness was evident on the first of his pick-six plays, which came against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. On that play, Lansanah kept his head up while dropping into his zone, which let him see the pass as it came out of Matt Ryan’s hand, and break on the ball. From there it was an easy run to the end zone, but it was the way he read the pass that made the play.

Lansanah has also shown the ability to find the right angles to avoid full on contact with blockers, and instead slip past them to make the play. With 7:30 left in the second against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8, Lansanah followed the play to the left, evaded the lunging Jerome Felton and tackled the ball-carrier for a 3-yard loss. With 3:42 left in the first quarter during the Week 13 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, Lansanah lined up as the MLB, and dropped in his zone from the snap. However, he quickly diagnosed the screen andpicked the angle to skip past the block from Russell Bodine and prevent a big gain on the play. Neither was a special play, but both demonstrated a level of competence that you want to see from a starting linebacker.

In addition to his ability to elude blockers, two plays from the Week 6 game against the Baltimore Ravens show that Lansanah can also take them on directly. At 13:56 in the first quarter, Lansanah was met by Marshal Yanda at the gap the run was headed for. He was able to move Yanda back a couple of yards which disrupting the run, and resulted in a loss of yards on the play. At 4:31 left in the third, Lansanah isn’t in on the tackle, but he met the lead blocker, Kyle Juszczyk, head on and won, effectively closing the intended gap for the runner.

Well, this future superstar had Lovie Smith harrumphing late last season when he was asked about Lansanah playing middle linebacker. Lovie said, shrugging his shoulders, “OK.” Those lukewarm comments by Lovie were also echoed by defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Look, the Bucs think so much of Lansanah, who turns 30 in August, that they signed a linebacker in free agency who is expected to start, and drafted one. Whether this is a way to motivate Lansanah, Joe isn’t sure.

Yes, Lansanah, signed by former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, was a pleasant surprise last year. And in underwear football this spring, Lansanah was dynamite.

Joe would sure like to see the former UFL player take the next step this season. Time will tell.

Next superstar? Let’s tap the brakes a moment.

13 Responses to “Getting Carried Away”

  1. Dick2111 Says:

    Another website yesterday did a whole article on Lansanah, listing him as “the odd man out” in the starting LB rotation.

    Bottom line: everyone’s guessing at this time of year who’ll be in and who’ll be out. Only time will tell … Not even Lovie knows at this point who’ll start.

  2. MegaDaveUK Says:

    I am excited for training camp – that is all for now.

  3. HFXBUC Says:

    Throw out the hyperbole and just consider that we have 4 linebackers who are NFL starting calibre players.. When was the last time we could say that about our linebackers (or anyany position).

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    Doesn’t the word “superstart” generally mean you’re making big, game altering plays? Sounds like a lot of the instances they referenced were him serving utility player functions. Hitting the gaps he’s assigned and basically being a functional player in the system. That said, I’m a Lansanah guy and I was happy to see his contributions last season, but this article was pretty paper thin.

  5. Dean Says:

    L and L don’t get enough credit for adding quality depth to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This team was so bad 2 years ago, that we were all guessing who would fill this spot and that, based on lack of talent.

    Now, all of a sudden, we’re talking about who’s going to fill this spot because we actually have some quality depth and talent. What a difference. Congrats Jason and Lovie, you’ve started us on the long road to some success.

  6. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    Superstar is a massive stretch, but Lansanah is solid and solid I can happily live with. There is no doubt we need another enforcer at LB besides David in order for the defense to ascend to being good. Bruce Carter runs hot and cold. Hopefully Lansanah is at least a steady rock.

  7. Strider #FamousJameis Says:

    I’m excited to see our team perform I’m still sad over the last few years cmon Jameis get me out of this funk win some games please !

  8. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Strider you no longer need to plead. Those wins about to start piling up bro. “The Bay got something say” starting 2015.

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    The superstar would have had to pickoff Ryan 8 times to make any difference in that blowout.

  10. HawaiianBuc Says:

    I think it was a smart move to bring in other LB’s. I don’t think there is really any position on this team that couldn’t use more talent. My only wish is that the best man win the job. I hope we don’t gift it to someone, as we did far too often last year.

  11. Rrsrq Says:

    Ryan Delaire is our secret weapon, our double digit sack guy, you heard it hear first, I can dream

  12. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Remember the story of the little train puffing up the hill saying I think I can I think I can.

    Confidence is a HUGE thing and Lansannah has to feel great going into training camp. He seems to be building momentum. Most importantly he’s no longer lost on the depth chart just hoping for a chance.

    I do not know if Lansannah is a star or not. I DO believe we’re going to learn a lot about him this year. He’s finally going to get a fair shot and he’s getting this opportunity at a time when everybody is raving about how great he’s playing and all his int’s. His confidence level should be off the charts.

  13. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I am excited about the underwear football practices!! I am excited about the practices that don’t mean squat!! I hope we win the Underwear Bowl!LOL!!!!!!! I can’t wait till the games that don’t count!! Almost here!!! LOL!!!