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PFF Names Bucs' "Secret Superstar"

Pro Football Focus believes a Bucs' linebacker could be the team's "secret superstar."

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Pro Football Focus (PFF), a website dedicated to providing high-level statistics on NFL teams, has been breaking down a list of every team's "secret superstar", essentially highlighting each club's most underrated playmaker. When it came time to select a player for the Bucs, PFF listed linebacker Danny Lansanah.

"Lansanah wasn't a starter in Week 1, but he was by Week 4," the website wrote in reference to the 2014 season. "His 27 stops in run defense as a 4-3 outside linebacker helped him to a 10.1 Run Stop Percentage, second on the team among linebackers, and 12th in the league at the position. His 14.5 Tackling Efficiency in the passing game was 11th-best among 4-3 linebackers. Three interceptions (two pick-sixes) and two pass deflections helped Lansanah hold opposing QBs to a 84.4 passer rating, and a +1.5 coverage grade."

The 2014 season was Lansanah's best of his career. He's carried that momentum into this spring and was one of the Bucs' most impressive players during offseason workouts.

What makes him so unique? PFF believes it's his ability to quickly diagnose plays that separates him from the pack.

"In terms of play on the field, the trait that jumps out first when watching Lansanah is his awareness," PFF continued. "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 been working as the Bucs' first-team, strong side outside linebacker since the start of OTAs, and throughout mandatory mini-camp. He recorded several interceptions, catching the eye of fellow linebacker Bruce Carter, who referred to Lansanah as "our master of interceptions all OTAs."

But nothing in the NFL is given, his spot still must be earned. Lansanah will have to hold off rookie Kwon Alexander, the Bucs' fourth-round pick out of LSU, to retain his starting spot for the Bucs' season opener against the Titans.

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