Lansanah: ‘My heart dropped to my feet'

Promotion to the active roster comes after the physical linebacker was being courted by the Miami Dolphins.

Danny Lansanah was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Tuesday. It hit home when he walked into the locker room on Wednesday.

"It's great," he said. "Being back there in the jungle (the auxiliary locker room), you don't get to see much, but being out here, when I first saw my name on this locker, my heart dropped to my feet. Coming in, this is where you want to be. In this locker room right here."

The Miami Dolphins were trying to sign Lansanah off of the Packers' practice squad to put onto their active roster. In fact, Lansanah said the Dolphins wanted him to accept their offer immediately on Monday night and break the news to the Packers upon his arrival in Miami on Tuesday morning, but Lansanah hold them he wanted to talk to the Packers first. So, on Tuesday morning, Lansanah talked to coach Mike McCarthy.

"He just said that I'm a ball player," Lansanah recalled. "They wanted me to be here."

So much so that the Packers elected to release special-teams standout Tracy White and promote Lansanah, clearly intrigued by what they saw from the 6-foot-1, 248-pound former Connecticut star during training camp and on the scout teams during the regular season.

"There is a reason why people come after a young man like that," McCarthy said. "It's based on the work that he has put on film."

"I'm going to do my best to not let them down," Lansanah said.

Taking White's spot eliminated a little of the excitement for Lansanah.

"He was kind of like my mentor coming in," said Lansanah while standing in front of White's old locker. "He said that I was like him coming in. You know, a quiet guy. Didn't say much, just worked hard on the field."

Lansanah figures to take White's spots on the punt, punt-return, kickoff and kickoff-return units. A three-year starter at Connecticut, Lansanah didn't play much special teams late in his collegiate career, but he worked hard on his techniques while on the scout units during special-teams periods.

Lansanah opened some eyes — then had to open his wallet — after drilling Broncos quarterback Patrick Ramsay during a preseason game. The late hit drew a $5,000 fine but also showcased his aggressiveness.

"When I seen it come off both of my checks, I was like, ‘Wow!' said Lansanah, who had 10 tackles in the preseason after being a first-team all-Big East selection as a senior.

The promotion not only was a big deal to Lansanah but to his father, who he credits for helping fulfill his lifelong dream of making it to the NFL.

"First thing I did was call my father, and he just started going crazy, yelling on the phone and stuff like that," Lansanah said with a smile. "That got me kind of riled up, because my father plays a big part in my life."

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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