So What If Donald Penn Is Fat?January 8th, 2010
During the 2009 preseason, Joe pointed out what seemed to be the obvious: Donald Penn was overweight.
Penn slimmed down before opening day, and then slowly started putting back the pounds.
Several weeks ago on his radio show on 1010 AM, Jeff Faine talked about how the offensive line was giggling about how Penn would look in the white pants of the Bucs throwback uniforms. Faine said Penn had no business drawing attention to his rear end.
But Penn had a strong season — fat and all.
The guy earned heavy praise in midseason from his head coach and offensive coordinator. He’s shut down some of the game’s best defensive ends in consecutive seasons. And Mark Dominik raved about how he is a “good athlete” with “good feet” in a chat with eye-RAH! Kaufman, of the Tampa Tribune.
Now the buzz coming out of the Tribune’s team of reporters is that the Bucs front office is concerned about Penn’s weight. Beat writer Woody Cummings even went so far as to say the Bucs could nab a left tackle in the first round of the 2010 draft.
Q: If as you say, that the draft is loaded with defensive talent, would it not be prudent to trade down and pick up both a quality left tackle as well as a defensive lineman?
Edward Meehan, Tampa
A: I’m sure that’s something the Bucs are thinking about. They’re a little concerned about Donald Penn’s weight and their depth at tackle is not exceptional. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see them draft a left tackle early on, possibly even in the first round.
— Roy Cummings
Joe just thinks this alleged concern about Penn’s weight is all a bunch of hogwash spin from the Bucs to try and devalue Penn, who is a restricted free agent for 2010.
Penn has started 45 consecutive games for the Bucs at left tackle.
He’s 26 years old.
And even for those scant few who don’t like Penn, everyone can admit he’s a solid left tackle, if not a great one in the making.
Left tackles are critical, especially with a young quarterback. The Bucs need to pay Penn for the long term.
Joe really doesn’t care if he’s got an eating problem. Stick a weight clause in his contract and move on to fixing the broken areas of the team.