Donald Penn Talks About Less Talk

September 2nd, 2012

The Bucs left tackle who has started 76 consecutive games and played pretty damn well, Mr. Donald Penn, hasn’t been heard from much through training camp and preseason. Penn loves to talk but he’s been keeping quiet. Why? Because Penn feels there’s been too much talk from the offensive line and not enough dominance, plus Penn believes media types have burned him by focusing on his weight. Penn and Joe chatted yesterday. Here’s the part of their exchange Joe can share. With Davin Joseph out, a guy who was a leader and a guy Coach Schiano considered a top team leader, do you feel any extra pressure to step up and lead differently than your usual style?

Donald Penn: I kind of do. But it’s kind of like, I’m going to try and do it by example more now. Not really doing a lot of talking, just go out there and do my job and do it to the utmost effort. And show other guys, you know, when they’re down they’ll look at me and see me bustin’ my butt and going hard, you know they pick it up too. When I see something super noticeable, I will speak up on it. But I’m going to approach it all will less talk and more showing. More by example.

Joe: Why less talk?

Penn: I think in the past with this O-line, there’s been a lot of talk and we show it sometimes and not all the time. So I think we need to stop talking and just come to work everyday and do it everyday because we’re very talented on this line but we haven’t put it together for a whole season yet. We’ve done it at times. This year we need to put it together for the whole season and every game be the strong point of the offense.

Joe: Your peers around the NFL voted you the 97th best player in the league, revealed on NFL Network this summer. Do your teammates have some fun with you about that?

Penn: I snuck in. I snuck in. No, it was real fun for me to find out. As a matter of fact, the person that told me was Carl [Nicks]. He texted me the day it came on and I put it on the TV. I was real disappointed when I wasn’t in it in 2011. I thought I was supposed to have been in it last year. I was happy to get there this year. It was good to get recognition from the other guys, especially where I came from [being undrafted.] Next year I’m trying to crack the 50.

Joe: Because of the media’s focus on your weight, a lot of fans care about it. Do you think it makes a difference how you play, if you’re weight changes five, 10, 20, or 30 pounds? Are you a different player at any kind of weight? Better or worse?

Penn: No. I don’t think so. I think everybody has to find something to pick at. And me, I’m never in trouble in the public. I’m never in trouble for not being here working. I’m great with foundations. I do a lot of outside stuff nobody knows about helping kids and stuff like that. I play great football. They’ve got to find something. I think that’s what they’re digging at and that’s what they’re picking at. And, you know, you can’t believe everything people tell you. I learned that a long time ago. You can’t believe everything people tell you. I’m tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of people talking about it. My play shows. I play well every game. I play my butt off. A play here and there happens; they get paid, too. You know, I’m not going to be perfect every single play. But I try, and I’m damn near close to perfect. But every slip up, it seems to blow up when it’s me. I’m just going to go out there again and keep getting better. We’ve got a great group of guys, a great team, a great coaching staff. In a couple of days we’re going to be able to show it.

Joe: In past years, you’ve had a young player alongside you to mentor and look out for, like Ted Larsen as a rookie diving in off the bench in 2010. Is there a difference for you now with Carl Nicks next to you and knowing you don’t have to worry about him?

Penn: I think it’s going to help me out a lot having that dominant guy inside, especially in the run game and the way I can focus more on the opponent. Since I’ve been in the league, I haven’t had a guard play with me consistently for more than a year other than Aaron Sears. Carl and I are going to have our timing down, and he’s always going to be there. I can count on it. I feel a lot more comfortable. I don’t have to help out that much. With Ted when he jumped in as a rookie like you mentioned, I did everything I could do to help him and get him ready and have his back.  And that’s what teammates do. But now I can worry about Donald and what Donald got to do. I don’t have to help Carl with any little things. I can completely focus on the defense.

20 Responses to “Donald Penn Talks About Less Talk”

  1. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Joe, he’s still got a young guy next to him…just on the other side.

    Good interview though. I get the feeling Nicks is rubbing off on Penn.

  2. Tommy Boy Says:

    The 4th question was awesome. It really got him to let it out in his answer. Media types (ahem Dueming) talk so much trash as if it isn’t going to get back to the athlete. But they listen. Obviously, Penn listens. Then said media type will do an interview with the person they destroyed on air as if they are pals. Blows my mind sometimes. Penn is right though. He is the best LT we’ve had in a loooong time. The other guys get paid too, which is why I don’t sweat it when Penn gets beat every now and then. He damn sure isn’t the matador known as Trueblood.

  3. Bob Says:

    Time to walk the walk we seem way overrated for our results.

  4. Mbaby Says:

    I seen on JK Schaffer twitter he’s coming 2 Tampa

  5. Pewter_Power Says:

    Any official word yet on who will start at right guard?

  6. 76buc76 Says:

    Mbaby who is this guy?

  7. Brandon Says:

    #65 overall pick from last season and former USF product Terrell McClain was released today by the Panthers. As a promising, penetrating-type DT, does anybody else hope that the Bucs put in a claim on him?

  8. Miguel Grande Says:

    If I was interviewing Donald Penn who missed 4 weeks of camp I would ask him what he thinks about the dreaded and unnecessary 110X16 torture tests?

    I would follow it up by asking him how many players lost time or their jobs because of them. I would also ask him if he plans on sticking around to run them next year.

    Only because I’m curious by nature.

  9. NJBucsFan Says:

    @ Brandon

    Based on what I’ve read about this guy if day I hope we pass. Rotoworld has him a one of the worst DT against the run statistically. Don’t want to see last year repeat itself.

    @ all other JBF readers.

    Based on other comments section I see that Miguel has annoyed everyone else just as much as me. He is that little guy that needs the attention even if it is negative. Treat him that way. Don’t give him any after this comment and he will eventually get board and realize how pathetic his life is. I hope everyone else realizes this and follows suit.

  10. CannuckBuc Says:

    NJBucsFan I could’nt agree with you more on MG

  11. King Says:

    Wow Miguel…you wont let that go will you bro. I have seen you complain about that on over a dozen different posts that have nothing to do with that old news subject. If somebody wants to quit a football team because the coach makes them run gassers to see if they stayed in shape over the off season and to see if they posses some mental toughness to push through it, they are probably not people we would want on our squad in my opinion.

  12. Bobby Says:

    Don’t worry King. Miguel is like a crazy relative that you keep locked away in a bedroom somewhere for fear he or she will hurt themselves. Just ignore all the insane comments…

  13. Bobby Says:

    JK Schaffer is indeed a Buc. This guy was good for Cinci (Bearcats). Hope he’s saved some of those hard hits for our opponents. He can lay someone out!

  14. Miguel Grande Says:

    You say that I enjoy negative attention, not so. I am astonished at the viciousness of ad hominem attacks because your opinion is different than mine. My opinions are well thought out and my spelling is usually good.

    The sad part about the torture tests is that you have to cut a player first to replace him with a free agent. Then when that free agent fails the tests, both are out of a job.

    That’s why there are no pressers announcing their acquisitions, it would make them look foolish, stubborn and stupid. They’re kind of sneaking them in the back door and pulling players out of practices.

    Imagine how focused the practices are when the “Turk” shows up and one of their buddies is hauled off in tears? That sure is great for morale.

    I keep harping on this dreaded and unnecessary torture tests because they are a constantly recurring nightmare.

    There are revolts that occur in locker rooms, just look at the Red Sox this year. I guess those darn Red Sox veterans have just never participated in organized sports before? Bobby Valentine is too butch for his own good.

    Que es mas macho? That was a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch. The Buc’s comedy sketch should be called, “How butch is that?”

  15. Mike J Says:

    Penn says in effect that his weight isn’t an issue because he says so. Same argument you hear from old vets about age, and from rehabbing post-surgery players about their health.

  16. Mr Lucky Says:

    Two questions:

    1. Penn and Nicks – should be a DOMINATING left side; where’s the running game been in the preseason?

    2. Aaron Sears – haven’t heard THAT name in some time. Any word about him lately Joe? Very sad….

  17. Bobby Says:

    Actually, the running game has been OK. Most of the drives we had were set up by the run and then the bigger plays were passing plays. When Martin was in there especially, it set up a lot of 3rd and shorts. We have a good offensive line but that doesn’t mean our RB’s are going to average 6 yds a carry. Martin got a lot of work in the redzone and that hurt his average a lot. You aren’t going to have a high YPC when you’re only trying to get 3 yds into the end zone. Not worried about the run. For a brand new system with all new coaching I was incredibly impressed with what we were able to do against New England. It shows what we’re capable of. Can we be consistent with that kind of play? Probably not at the beginning of the year but by the end of the year I expect it to be just the opposite of last year. We will get stronger as the year goes on.

  18. Patrick Says:

    @Mr. Lucky

  19. GenocideD Says:

    Good interview, Joe.

  20. Macabee Says:

    Signing on!