The Lone Buc To Pancake Derrick BrooksOctober 30th, 2013
Joe will enjoy celebrating Donald Penn this week, as No. 70 will start his 100th consecutive game for the Buccaneers on Sunday in Seattle.
It’s been quite a rise for Penn, from undrafted free agent to big contracts, the Pro Bowl and being named by his peers to the NFL Network’s Top-100 list.
Joe’s going to share a lot about Penn in the coming days. This evening, Joe spent time with Derrick Brooks to talk about Penn, his former teammate, and Brooks had plenty to say. Here’s one fun nugget from Penn’s early days.
“He was one of those young players that at a point in my career challenged me every day to make sure I stayed sharp,” Brooks said of Penn. “I didn’t want him to build his reputation on me every day in practice. But I can most humbly admit, in terms of practice, that he is the only guy that ever pancaked me. And he never lets me forget it.
“It was a screen play that I had beat him thousands of times on. This one particular day [in 2007], they decided in their offensive meeting room, Jon Gruden had designed this particular play against me, and I took my eye off him for maybe half a second and he got in on my pads and he put me flat on my back. He was the only guy that every pancaked me in practice. It comes up every three or four conversations we have. He brings it up. He’ll definitely tell you the time, date, play count, if you ask him.
“That’s important for me to mention because that helps show how proud of him I am. That’s the one word that I use, especially these past few years, of how he’s come to work every single day despite the team’s troubles, him stepping up, being a leader, playing through it, never complain, punch that clock every day. He’s one of the guys that, you know, I really live through playing this game. He leans on me and I want to always keep encouraging him.”