Penn “Pissed Off” And “McCown Is The Guy”

April 13th, 2009

Donald Penn is "pissed off" after signing a one-year $2.8 million tender offer from the Bucs, reports Tampa Tribune NFL writer Ira Kaufman.

Donald Penn is "pissed off" after signing a one-year $2.8 million tender offer from the Bucs, reports Tampa Tribune NFL writer Ira Kaufman.

The accomplished football scribe eye-Rah! Kaufman, of The Tampa Tribune, made the sports radio rounds this morning talking all things Bucs in the wake of the Byron Leftwich signing.

First, satellite radio got a taste of Kaufman when he appeared on Sirius NFL Radio’s “The Opening Drive” with co-hosts Randy Cross and Carl Banks. Kaufman later chatted on The Fabulous Sports Babe show locally on 1040 AM.

Quite a bit of fireworks from Carl Banks, the ex-Giants star linebacker, and revelations by Kaufman. Kaufman talked about “pissed off” left tackle Donald Penn agreeing to a 1-year tender offer last week for $2.8 million.

Joe provides highlights below:

Kaufman with The Sports Babe: Nobody wants to say it Babe, but the Bucs are rebuilding. Rebuilding, that’s what they’re doing. … The Bucs will run 60 percent of the time. …This line is better at run blocking than pass blocking. …Donald Penn wanted more money and to be locked up long term. He’s an underrated left tackle. He’s a little pissed off. … I’ve talked to people in Cleveland [Browns organization] about [Luke McCown]. They don’t think he’s very good.”

Kaufman on NFL Radio’s The Opening Drive:

Randy Cross: Are the Bucs going to be more of a passing offense this season?

eye-RAH! Kaufman: No. With Jeff Jagodzinski as the offensive coordinator, it will be more of a power game patterned after the Giants and the Steelers. They will run 60 percent of the time. Byron Leftwich or Luke McCown will throw deep to soften up the secondary. It will be a run-first team.

Carl Banks: I’m withholding judgment. I don’t want to be an armchair critic of anything going on but I do have some question marks on how [the Bucs] are managing the cap and playing [Sgt.] Winslow. He’s a talent but he’s injured a lot. They made a commitment to one quarterback, — what, two months ago? — and now they think it’s an upgrade to have Leftwich. Then they are grooming a guy [Josh Johnson] who they think will be The Guy. Any concerns that going from a helter skelter quarterback system with Jon Gruden that they are now overreacting?

Kaufman: [General manager Mark Dominik and Raheem The Dream] are feeling the weight [of responsibility]. The coach has never been a coordinator in the NFL before and Dominik, it’s his first time as a general manager. The Winslow contract is a shocker. He’s never caught a pass for them yet. It’s a very questionable move. They seem to be spending money just to spend money. The team was taking some heat for not spending money down here.

CB: [With Winslow’s contract] you are basically guaranteeing against injuries for the next two years. I have to give [Winslow’s agent] Drew Rosenhaus a lot of credit for getting this deal done without a gun. I don’t want to kill [Dominik and Morris] early on , but these are some moves that will contribute to their legacy good or bad.

Kaufman: …There’s been tremendous upheaval. I think the quarterback job is McCown’s to lose. There are more questions on defense than offense. Jim Bates is trying to fill Monte Kiffin’s shoes. There’s no pass rush. They’re trying to go to a press coverage. Ronde Barber is not great at that.

Right now they are the No. 4 team in a very tough division. It’s tough to feel good about the home team.

RC: What are your thoughts that McCown? Will he be the starter? Why won’t Leftwich?

Kaufman: I don’t think Leftwich is accurate enough. Through the years his percentage has not been that good. He’s easy to sack. McCown can move better. That will give him the lead. Every time I ask Morris about him, he gives me the same line: “Who ever heard of Tom Brady before he played? Who ever heard of Matt Cassel before last year? You have to give a guy an opportunity.”

I know what you are saying. Hey, McCown has flunked out before in Cleveland. Maybe this is an opportunity for Byron Leftwich? He has an open shot.

CB: If you believe McCown is indeed the guy, then why bring an elephant in the room like Leftwich? That’s a lot for a quarterback to have to deal with who is trying to develop himself: To have a guy like Leftwich on the bench. There will be a call for a change. If [Leftwich] was brought in just as a backup, he will out play others because he has experience and he has played din big games before. If there really is an open competition, he will win it.

Kaufman: Maybe they want to see where McCown is mentally? Sure, Leftwich has a track record. Brian Griese is the odd man out. They will keep Johnson. They probably won’t draft [Josh] Freeman.

I think they want to see how McCown handles it. If he can’t, then he is not the guy. Turn the heat up. How will he handle it? Will he keep his poise? At the end of the day I think McCown is the guy.

RC: Are there changes in schemes? Will the Bucs get any bigger?

Kaufman: Yes. There is a marked change in philosophy. Speed always is a big factor. But Morris’ favorite word is “violent.” Kiffin just wanted you to bring the guy down. Morris wants collision. Bates wants big guys up front. Moving Jermaine Phillips to linebacker is a bit of a risk. Hovan is an undersized tackle. Sims signed and he is more of a Bates-sized tackle.

I think they are going to go for a defensive tackle in the draft. Fans will see a big change away from the Tampa-2.

2 Responses to “Penn “Pissed Off” And “McCown Is The Guy””

  1. Mr Lucky Says:

    Pissed off for 2.8 million as an undrafted walk-on? Hmmm is he related to Antonio Bryant by chance? WTF do these guys think that they have 1 good year & they’re entitled to $10 million a year? (Oh I forgot Bryant is ALREADY making that).

    I suggest Mr. Penn play his darndest and drop the “pissed” attitude at the door – there are always more, bigger, badder and less expensive linemen in the Class of 2009 draft class.

  2. MTM Says:

    Its the new Buc’s trend. To whine about pay! Maybe if he has some injuries and is questionable to hold up. Penn can get a long term contract. Oh wait that’s soldier boy. I mean Sarge.