Donald Penn The Key To A Win

December 7th, 2012

Yes, the Beagles stink this year, and Joe is not shedding a tear. Joe just thinks it is rich that the Bucs decided to celebrate the 2002 Super Bowl champions this weekend.

Even if the Beagles stink, the team is dangerous. It’s not like the team doesn’t have weapons.

This is why the football thinktank believes the key for the Bucs is the blocking of Donald Penn. The PFF folks, through their dogged research, say few NFL quarterbacks get rattled by pressure more than Josh Freeman. So it is their belief that if Penn can’t handle his pass-blocking, Freeman will mentally crumble, opening the door for a Beagles upset.

Trent Cole vs. Donald Penn

With [defensive line coach Jim] Washburn out the Eagles will stray away from the wide-nine alignment as their primary formation. How this impacts defensive end Trent Cole remains to be seen, but Cole has not thrived in the system the way he did last season when he was the most productive pass rusher in the league. His PRP has dropped from 14.9 to 9.8. He still ranks 12th with 38 total pressures and three sacks in 298 pass-rushing opportunities, but he hasn’t been his usual force.

This might be his chance to improve those numbers though because he draws Buccaneers left tackle Donald Penn. Penn has struggled this season and ranks 60th among offensive tackles in Pass Blocking Efficiency. He has allowed 40 total pressures and three sacks in 422 pass blocking situations. Penn containing Cole is so important because Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman in among the worst in the league when under pressure. Freeman’s completion percentage is just 42.9% when under pressure to go along with six interceptions. Penn will need to protect his blind side if Freeman is going to have a successful day.

This is an interesting thought about Freeman. Earlier this week, Joe was flamed for suggesting Freeman has to learn to adjust to pressure and, like elite NFL quarterbacks, find a way to overcome obstacles and make plays.

Joe wasn’t the only one who noticed this as well. So if one is to believe the premise the PFF crowd fronts, then Penn will have to lock down Cole, which Penn is capable of doing.

10 Responses to “Donald Penn The Key To A Win”

  1. kfc7 Says:

    We should draft that LT from A&M in this upcoming draft. We will have to trade up for him. That dude is supposed to be the next Joe Thomas. That is all this offense needs. Penn would move to RT. or he can walk.

    While there are bigger needs on defense, picking up an elite LT would make the offense No.1 in the league week in and out. The rest of the draft, ALL defense. From DT,CB and FS.

  2. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    Penn “ranks 60th among offensive tackles in Pass Blocking Efficiency”; meaning he’s the 5th worst in the league amongst starters.


  3. Ramdog Says:

    Yeh Donald Penn isn’t a very good pass blocker this year but Freeman takes a lot of time to Pass. Actually Demar Dotson has been a find he is having a great year and apparently is still actually learning the position so he has a big upside.

    As far as trading up to get a left tackle we would have to give up a lot and it is down on our need chart. If we trade up I think it would be to get an impact pass-rusher. The draft is very deep at corner so we probably won’t trade up to do that. Dominik is a great GM, and we have a great scouting department though and with Schiano I think they will make good decisions. I mean the Bruce Allen GM era absolutely killed us, we have almost no impact players that he drafted (as evidenced by being one of the youngest teams in the NFL) and his free agent acquisitions were questionable as well. Building a good team takes time next year we need to get game changers on the defensive side of the ball.

  4. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    “…is so important because Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman in among the worst in the league when under pressure. Freeman’s completion percentage is just 42.9% when under pressure to go along with six interceptions.”

    This is exactly what so many fans, myself included, were screaming about on Sunday and Monday after the Broncos game. Of course we all took heat from the dumb homers out there but who cares about those idiots. Anyway, it is painfully obvious that there are two Freemans on the Bucs: the Freeman who has plenty of time and space, and the Freeman who is under pressure. The difference between how those two Freemans play is like night and day. Or Jekyll and Hyde. Pick your opposites.

    The only way the Bucs ever get to the next level and become a consistent contender year after year is if Freeman learns how to be great under pressure. Because right now he folds like a cheap suit whenever a defender gets near him. Whenever that happens Freeman throws the ball like someone blindfolded him and kicked him hard in the ass. Or like an old man with a twelve-gauge. Whatever the analogy, Freeman needs to improve and improve soon.

  5. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Brady has a worse percentage this year when under pressure.

    Either get better throwing under pressure, or get better protection/scheme for quicker routes.

  6. J-VillesBuc84 Says:

    422 pass blocking situations and only allowed 3 sacks and 40 pressures. Idk to me that don’t sound half bad, but I don’t really know about those stats. Hell don’t some teams allow that many pressures and more sacks in a game?

  7. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @J-VillesBuc84 – Those numbers are solely for Penn. They are not great.

  8. Buc'It Says:

    PFFand there weird/stupid rating system is completely overblown. m tired of a few numbers being thrown arond and the uneducted fan quickly absorbs and believes its validity. Penn is a top 10 OT. PERIOD. There aren’t many tackles out there outside the name of Staley, Long, Thomaswho are markedly better tha him.

    So you mean to tell me out of 422 ‘dropbacks’ by Freeman, Penn has surrendered just “3 sacks” yet he is the 60th ranked player at his position? Get out of here! That absoluely AMAZING given the countless number of ‘elite’ pass rushers he has faced so far week in and week out(JPP, Ware, Hali, Allen, Seymour, Abraham, Dumervil/Miller).

    Penn will do just fine against Cole and anyone else who lines up across from him. Freeman has been recieving pressure up the middle and even from Dotson side but our oline has still surrenderd the 3rd fewest sacks in the league and thats missing pro bowl players.

  9. BamBamBuc Says:

    Been saying that for two years now…. Penn is not elite, Penn is not a great pass blocker, Penn is not even a great run blocker. Talk about all the “elite’ pass rushers he’s faced, and I can show you another 31 starting LTs in the league that have also faced plenty of “elite” pass rushers and are ahead of him when it comes to allowing pressure. Penn will “suffice for now” is the best way to put it. He’s ok, not great, maybe even good, but that’s about it. Penn is, however, not a need to be replaced at this point. We have bigger needs.

  10. Brandon Says:

    First off, Freeman holds onto the ball too long far too often.

    Secondly, most of the pressure Freeman gets is a result of the fact that, as mobile as he is, is an absolute statue in the pocket. He is either standing completely still or he is trying to run the ball. He never slides in the pocket to either side, he rarely steps up, and doesn’t roll away from pressure nearly enough. The QBs that are great at avoiding pressure, Peyton and Brady, are extremely slow for the position but they know how to use their feet to buy another second or two. I am extremely disappointed in Freeman and his coaches for not making his pocket mobility more of a priority. As mobile and big as he is, if Freeman would start being more mobile in the pocket (like Manning and Brady), he would be an upper echelon QB.

    As for drafting a LT after a costly move up….Wow, so off base with that one for a litany of reasons. #1 Penn is fine, Freeman has caused most pressures by holding onto the ball too long. #2 If a change would be made, the most likely and best scenario would be sending Penn to RT and Dotson to LT #3 OT is among the lowest needs on our priority list and finally #4 Dominik has already said he prefers to sign offensive linemen rather than invest high draft picks on them. So basically, it will never happen.