Statement Game For Donald Penn

December 18th, 2013

Mighty Rams DE Robert Quinn is up next

A veteran left tackle gets beat a couple of times and fans are ready to run him out of town. Such is the case with Donald Penn.

Sunday against the 49ers wasn’t his best. But the week before, with Mario Williams and the NFL’s top sack unit of the Bills across the line of scrimmage, Penn stood strong. (By the way Buffalo rebounded Sunday with five sacks.)

Penn is set to earn $6.4 million next season at a critical position.Joe thinks Penn’s job is safe. He hasn’t missed a start since taking the gig in 2007, and he’s surely nowhere where near a “problem” with the Bucs offense. But Penn, like nearly ever veteran Buccaneer, especially the 30+ crowd, needs to prove himself in these final two games of 2013.

Joe’s sick of hearing chatter about how veterans are worn down this time of year. Sure they are, but the whole idea is to be ready to perform at a high level in January or February. Good players do that. Good teams to that. Joe’s not crying for anyone’s mid-December grind.

Penn’s got a huge test Sunday in 23-year-old Rams manbeast defensive end Robert Quinn. He’s got 15 sacks this season (off 10 in 2012), including two of Drew Brees last weekend, and he’s forced seven fumbles. Quinn’s an animal and represents a telling opportunity for Penn.

If Penn can contain Quinn, then what can Bucs fans say?

Joe’s confident. Penn has shown he can succeed against the elite players. Quinn was shut down well in the Bucs-Rams game last December.

Changes are coming to the Bucs’ offensive line, barring a massive resurrection of the running game over the final two games. Penn can steer clear of that by winning his battle in St. Louis. You don’t roll the dice at left tackle, and Penn is at least a good one.

40 Responses to “Statement Game For Donald Penn”

  1. Mike J Says:

    Every year, Penn gets worse as he gets bigger.Glutton.

  2. tcaviar Says:

    That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard Penn is under appreciated the other top LT give up sack ever once in a while Penn is consistent people just don’t know X’s and O’s

  3. tcaviar Says:

    Also great in the run as well as the pass

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Penn is the least of our problems…..I, at least think we should try to re-structure his contract. Joseph may be another matter altogether & we should cut Nicks if he isn’t healthy.

  5. BucNasty!!! Says:

    Maybe if your FRANCHISE guy stops staring at the wide open receiver an throw him the ball an stop being afraid to make mistakes he’ll get the ball out sooner not go threw 9 progressions b4 he decides it’s better to take a unnecessary sack as opposed to throwing it away but then that would kill his high completion percentage on his dink an dunks and god forbid his stats actually look like his play lmao. This regime is all about padding the stats or making things not seam how they really are. We don’t have coaches we have a bunch of lawyers and P R sharks that don’t care if we are winning or not. They only won’t to b n full control an have things there way regardless of outcome. Sounds like small man syndrome to me. Maybe Bennet knew some inside info when he made that statement 🙂

  6. Bobby Says:


    It’s like you have verbal diarrhea. …

  7. RealityCheck Says:

    “If Penn can contain Quinn, then what can Bucs fans say?”

    Bucs fans make up their own “facts” based on whatever nonsense complaints they feel like spewing that day. Just look at Mike J’s post for confirmation…

  8. Biff Barker Says:

    The Donald is not broken, no fix required.
    Pay the man his due.

  9. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    I just don’t think he has much left in the tank, and that his fall will be fast. He needs an understudy and fast. Draft the A&M OT.

  10. BucNasty!!! Says:

    @ Bobby thanks. Let me guess your for Schiano? I mean it’s just like u guys to talk about things that have nothing to do with football. I guess it’s because my view points are valid and you don’t have any concrete arguments to discredit that. But thanks for rolling off of your hog u call a mother to share that info with me…… 🙂 o u don’t like pointless conversation that has nothing to do with football??

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m good with Penn until you can find someone better, hopefully in this Draft, Jake Matthews, hint hint. Penn is fine but has lost a step when it comes to guys like Aldon Smith. He was so much quicker than Penn on many plays. It is what it is, guy’s 30+ and time to get a top LT.

    Dom has cheated the Draft of a LT because of Penn who has played well. Most teams have spent a top pick on a LT, and the Bucs haven’t. I think it is about time to sew that position up with a premium player. I don’t think Dominck will do it though, but he needs to do something with the O line.

    What’s up with Nicks???? Does anyone know or heard anything? WTF? Is Nicks ever going to be healthy or play again? This getting a little ridiculous. I mean Damn! If the toe is that bad, cut the sonofabitch off.

  12. mvermulm Says:

    BucNasty, there are far more times than not where the receivers are completely covered. Good QBs go through their progressions, but the timing of the routes also has to line up with those progressions. It’s not entirely on Glennon. The OC could certainly help with some different routes that aren’t all deep fly routes.

    As for Penn, I’d like us to draft an OT high in this draft, but I feel Penn should be given a chance to earn his spot next year. $6.4mil is not high for a LT, and a drafted LT could certainly benefit from learning from two guys who worked their way into their spots in Penn and Dotson.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ BucNasty

    Sound like you’re still in love with Freeman & perhaps Bennett & blame Schiano for their departure….and because of that you call mockingly call Glennon our “Franchise” QB….and, the last time I checked very few ascribe that to him.
    The article is about Donald Penn and whether or not he will be worth the $6 mil we will have to pay him next year.
    I don’t excuse Schiano for his coaching mistakes but you seem to have venom in your words toward him and some others. How about staying on the subject. You can read my post on Penn if you want to Penn & the o-line if you want to disagree with me on that.

  14. Dennis Says:

    would it be a huge mistake to move Donald Penn to right guard? and draft a left tackle?

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Donald Penn the Pro Bowl Alternate Due to earn $6.4mil; is not the Problem? The guy who’s main responsibilities is to protect the Franchises blind side. Has ranked in the bottom tier, at his position in QB pressures in sacks the past 2 season. Yep, time to draft his replace indeed.

  16. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lets not forget Penn allowed a career-high nine sacks in 2011. 2012 & 2013 haven’t been any better.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    And for those who keep saying we can keep him inside to guard. Don’t forget Penn is a TERRIBLE run blocker. DE’s beat him inside for TFL’s all the time.

  18. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    it does not help that we have no Tightends that can remotely help to block. I know some aroound here are ready to put Wright into the pro-bowl. But it would be nice if he could help the tackle positions with an occasional chip-block. Penn is getting long in the tooth, and cannot go solo for a full game anymore.

  19. BucNasty!!! Says:

    0-8 is what I’m bitter about. Screw Freeman an whoever else u wanna name drop that’s Schiano fault. His system. His oc hire….weather 1st choice or not. And his lack of adjustment to what’s not working. …His fault. You kno head coach overseeing everthing but related. Maybe if he focused on fixing the issues instead of fixing the room temperature I’d believe he can fix our record but we are what we are a Schiano led 4 win team. That’s no different then Raheem but for some reason this 4 win season is acceptable? I call a spade a spade idk what u do lmao

  20. BucNasty!!! Says:

    It seems to me that anyone who thinks schiano is doing anything good has a hidden agenda because they have no concrete evidence. Please the only thing they have to say about him is that they don’t want him gone because this would be how many coaches and how many years. But it doesn’t matter if you’re not getting the job done . I want results i could care less who is in the seat but they have to produce. I have many reasons and examples of what he’s doing wrong and how he’s hurting us but no one can counter that with anything positive about him why is that? So many beat the drum for him but with no factual reason y. They just like him hmmm idk but that sound s like hidden agenda to me. When ever u say anything factual about him your called a Freemanite. Lmao that’s like when someone is right an u don’t wanna admit it u change topics lol next thing I know you guys are gonna tell mom on me hahaha. Anybody wanna take that 2 and let me know why u think I’m wrong? I’ll wait I’ll love to hear this answer of what good he’s done and keep in mind b4 u answer he’s approaching the number of wins Raheem had when he was fired but Raheem had a 10 win season under his belt b4 his flop not a 7 -9 record lol this response should b comical.

  21. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Penn has been beaten quite a bit more than “a couple of times”. However, he’s not one of the offense’s main problems

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    2008- Donald Penn (Bucs)8 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2009- Donald Penn (Bucs)5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2010- Donald Penn (Bucs)6 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2011- Donald Penn (Bucs)9 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2012- Donald Penn (Bucs)8 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2013- Donald Penn (Bucs) 8 sacks allowed (14 starts) ??

    Given up damn near 7.5 sacks over the last 6yrs. OVERRATED!!

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Donald Penn has given up 25 sacks since he signed a 6-year, $48-million contract. Definitely haven’t lived to all the hype. Anyone who believes differently; clearly have low standards for the position.

  24. Tim Says:

    tcaviar, I think you maybe the one that doesn’t know X’s and O’s. See LUVMYBUCS post above, Penn is supposed to be a great pass blocker clearly he is not. As for his run blocking, he not a road grater of a blocker. Sure he can secure his man when the guy runs right into him, but one good chest punch and Penn is on his ars. I have stated before I love Penn’s drive and style of play, but there is no arguing the guys game drops off every year around week 8 or 9. He was a Pro Bowl caliber LT at one point, he is no longer that guy. It is time to move on.

  25. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Joe Thomas is allowing about 40% less sacks (4.5) since he came in league (07). Penn has allowed more sacks this year than Thomas has allowed this year AND last year combined.

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Jake Longs Stats
    4× Pro Bowl (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
    —-First-team All-Pro (2010)
    —-Second-team All-Pro (2009)

    2008- Jake Long (Miami) 2 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2009- Jake Long (Miami) 4 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2010- Jake Long (Miami) 6 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2011- Jake Long (Miami) 5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    2012- Jake Long (Miami) 4 sacks allowed (13 starts)
    2013- Jake Long (Miami) 6 sacks allowed (16 starts)

    The reason I’m going with Jake Longs stats. Is because outside of the number on chest(#77) and college he attends(Michigan) . Taylor Lewan is a Jake Long clone. Add that with the recent success of LT’s drafted in the 1st round. And Penn’s inept play. I’d say without question, its time to roll the dice on a player with the potential to actually protect the franchises blind side. Instead of showing up occasionally; for better named opponents.

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Correction- Jake Long (14 starts-2013)

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    And he currently plays for our next opponent(Rams)

  29. BucNasty!!! Says:

    No reply? no schiano love with supporting facts? Exactly Schianoites!!!!

  30. d-money Says:

    To compare Donald Penn to Jake Long is ridiculous.

    Donald Penn was an undrafted free agent, Jake Long was the first overall pick in the draft. I would hope that he is better than Penn or else someone wasted a #41 draft pick.

    Donald Penn is a very good but not great left tackle. You can’t sit and compare his numbers to someone who may very well be the best tackle in the league. Of course he’s going to have better stats.

  31. d-money Says:

    sorry #1 draft pick***

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    If you recall I was comparing Jake Long to Taylor Lewan.

    *Since 2010 can you name,more than one LT that’s started for a playoff team with 40+starts. That have a combined 25 sacks as a STARTER over that combined period of time? Good Luck, because an underwhelming majority of those guys were on Sub .500 ball clubs. And are not worth mentioning. I expect better out the position.

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    And since you brought that up. Overall Legarrette Blount was underwhelming UDFA for his position. So what did do? Draft Doug Martin as replacement in the 1st round. I expect them to do the same here.

    Correction-Since 2011***

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    And as I stated earlier. If you believe a LT giving up a combined 25 sacks

    **2011- Donald Penn (Bucs)9 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    **2012- Donald Penn (Bucs)8 sacks allowed (16 starts)
    **2013- Donald Penn (Bucs)8 sacks allowed (14 starts) ??

    ….Is good. Then you clearly, have low especially for the position. Especially in a pass happy league.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *standards …not especially

  36. BucNasty!!! Says:

    Still no schinoites??? Clearly it shouldn’t b that hard to find concrete evidence of good he’s doing. I mean after all you have to have a reason why you keep sayin he deserves to b back for 2014

  37. bucs55 Says:

    Luv my bucs

    you can’t go off sacks alone … qb pocket awareness has been horrible for years expecually when they stopped freeman from runnin and tryed to work him in the pocket the system is all about the deep ball so it takes more times expecually to trow expecually when we dont have a TE and a slot receiver to run under neath routes our of fence makes it incredibly easy for defenses to sit back and rush the qb expecually when we are always on 3rd down Penn has held his own for last couple of years as well and how many LGs have we plugged in the T n the G have to be in sink always because the inside moves half of the times the guard has to help you wanna talk football der u go

  38. bucs55 Says:

    The number of sacks look ugly but all does things i mentioned lead to sacks we signed the best guard in football to help and he hasn’t been der how many guards have we plugged in right next to Penn and we expect him to be great smh he’s making average left tackle money and you’re talking about drafting a tackle that’s gonna com and almost day as a unproven player because Draft picks don’t always plan out (Jason smith) (monroe) (Chris Williams ) and the names go on I rather have Penn any day of the week and twice on sundays

  39. bucs55 Says:

    Luv my bucs
    i can name you tackles and guards dat have allowed it ask the offensive line for packers because they all were horrible lol

  40. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    You guys have to stop giving mediocre at best talent excuses. Penn has also giving up an ample amount QB’Pressures/Hurries as well. Bottom line LT are judged on protecting the QB’s blind side, and run blocks. And he’s neither good or great at neither.

    Here’s an interest article wrote about him in 2011:

    “To understand this, there are certain aspects of Penn’s play that need to be assessed separately, because, despite his 2010 Pro-Bowl appearance, Penn is far from a complete tackle. As such, his absence might not be felt as keenly on even a majority of plays – in fact, on some plays, we might see an improvement in play from the left tackle position; but those few times when Penn’s absence will be felt, it will be because the outcome could be disastrous.

    It is important that I make my position on Penn clear: I was, until recently, a huge, huge supporter of Penn; however, due to an offseason of particularly missing football (and practising for a new weekly feature The Pulling Linemen will be introducing during the season), I have recently been breaking down Bucs’ gamefilm from the 2011 season, focusing on specific players. When focusing on LeGarrette Blount, one thing stood out repeatedly – that Penn is arguably the most overrated tackle in football. I was shocked – as I said, I was a huge Penn fan up to that point – but what you can see on film is unavoidable. The thing with Penn’s play is that he is very much a one-trick pony – in all but one aspect of tackle play, he is average at the very best, and at worst, does more damage than if he wasn’t there at all (let’s just say, there’s a reason why the Bucs rarely had right guard Davin Joseph lead blocking on a pull to the left – namely, Penn could never move his defensive end at all, thus giving Joseph no space to lead block effectively). However, that one trick that he does possess, he does as well as any other tackle in the league – it is the one aspect of play in which Penn is truly elite: handling outside pass-rush.

    That Penn is bad in the run game is no secret – in fact, ‘bad’ is a huge overstatement of his abilities. He is terrible, rarely making his intended block, and when he does, he almost never sustains his block through the whistle, but rather maybe block a defender for a few seconds before he seemingly runs out of energy. His issue is one of technique; simply put, he fails to drive the defenders back at all – at best, he keeps the defenders where they are, but never actually pushes anyone back – and that mostly comes from poor leverage, which comes from Penn struggling to get lower than his opponent. This is, in part, because Penn rarely lines up in a traditional three-point stance, but rather the two-point, which is typically only used in pass-protection, due to a need to drop back, rather than burst forward.
    Penn, looking
    relatively svelte…
    Coming out of a two-point stance not only means Penn is at a poor angle to get lower than the defender, but also means he lacks a lot of the burst that comes through firing out of a three-point stance. The obvious question is why Penn would come out of a two-point stance at all – and I’m afraid the answer appears to be weight-related. It is no secret that Penn is one of the more ‘portly’ offensive linemen in the league, with his weight reportedly ballooning to 360 pounds during the 2011 season. It is enough of an issue that Penn has a bonus in his contract that he only receives if he weighs below 330 pounds when officially weighed by the team, four times in a year. With Penn weighing as much as he does, it does make him much slower out of a three-point stance than he would be if he weighed closer to 300 (in fact, I’d argue that Penn would have a chance to be a truly great left tackle in all aspects of his game if he could get his weight down to 300 at the start of each season, as it would allow him to move allot more freely – or at least, would have had he not been injured). So, he compensated by often lining up in a two-point stance – sacrificing leverage by doing so, and thereby making him incredibly ineffective in run-blocking.

    Of course, one could well argue that the left tackle position places a premium on pass-protection, not drive-blocking, and to an extent that’s true. However, I have bad news for Penn supporters: Penn is not as good at pass-pro as you think he is. Many point to the fact that he has shutdown many of the league’s elite pass-rushers during his career, and that is true – but it runs deeper than that. The reason that he was so effective against those pass-rushers is that, in large part, those pass-rushers’ best moves tend to be utilising the outside-rush, and that is the aspect of being a left tackle that Pen is truly dominant in. He is so good at protecting against outside-rush that even when DEs and OLBs attempt to fake outside then come back in with a spin move, Penn has shown that he can control the spin move as well as anyone I’ve seen, completely nullifying even Dwight Freeney’s fearsome spin. The problem is that, while a majority of RDEs will go to the outside more often than not when pass-rushing, they will occasionally go inside… and Penn’s inside is softer than a marshmallow in a microwave. It is surprising how relatively infrequently Penn’s inside was attacked in pass-protection, as there are many occasions where doing so would have led to an easy sack. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is a division foe who seemed to abuse Penn’s inside the most, namely New Orleans’ end Will Smith, no doubt something he recognised thanks to going against him twice a year, when he wasn’t busy helping to run the bounty program (allegedly), or taking banned diuretics. Penn’s inside was not just a problem in pass-rushing situations, either, as attacking Penn’s inside in the run game made for an easy tackle-for-a-loss – rewatch the second Bucs/Saints game in 2011, several times Penn took a step outside in run-blocking, only to have the DE shoot across his face through a massive hole into the backfield.

    So, the Bucs will have to turn to another tackle for the early part of at least the preseason, if not the regular season. Most likely, it will be Demar Dotson who will get the first shot at stepping up. Dotson has mostly been used as a blocking tight end in his career so far, though he did get first-team reps during 2010 OTAs, when Penn was holding out for that monster contract he eventually got on the opening day of training camp of that year. As I’ve suggested above, Penn will not truly be missed in the run game, and personally, I do not believe there will be much of a noticeable dropoff at all in run-blocking – if anything, we might even see improved run-blocking from that position as a result; and likewise, he has been a liability in pass-protection, on his inside, up to this point. But that is the most ironic part of the whole story.

    As you’ll already know, the Bucs spent big in free agency this year, signing three high-priced FAs in the first twenty-four hours: wide receiver Vincent Jackson, cornerback Eric Wright, and, most excitingly for me, left guard (and highest-ranked interior OL in the TPL100) Carl Nicks. Nicks is one of the true elite linemen in the league, and not only was he a huge, huge part of the reason Drew Brees was able to accomplish all he has over the past few years, but there is perhaps no bigger testament to his talent that an incredibly, incredibly average tackle, Jermon Bushrod, was voted to the Pro-Bowl in 2011 – which anyone with any experience playing OL will be able to tell was almost entirely down to the fact that Nicks played so damn well, that Bushrod often got credited for the residual effects from the sheer dominance of his neighbour’s play. And that’s the kicker. Penn was dangerously, dangerously susceptible on his inside – I believe that, had we not upgraded the left guard position, Freeman was in danger for as long as Penn continued manning the left tackle spot. With Nicks on board, that ceased to be a worry, for he is truly good enough to pick up Penn’s interior slack in addition to his normal assignment. With his inside now covered, in pass-protection situations, Penn would then have been free to fully exercise that one aspect of the game in which he is truly elite – the outside-rush. With Penn manning the outside-rush as well as he would have, and Nicks able to protect both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ gaps on his side, Josh Freeman’s blindside would have been as protected as any quarterback’s . That is what the Bucs will no have to face at least the start of the season without.
    Carl Nicks, saviour of the B-gap

    So that is where the Bucs now stand. In the run game, they may actually have more success than they would have had with Penn healthy, which no doubt is music to new HC Greg Schiano’s ears, with his commitment to running the ball. For those times, however, when the Bucs go to a traditional drop-back pocket pass – those plays when the QB is most vunerable – we are unlikely to have as protection nearly as good as what it could have been with that big #70 on the line. But here’s the further irony… any pass-rusher worth his salt will occasionally need to go inside rather than outside, to keep tackles honest. When those pass-rushers do try and go inside, they’ll come up against Nicks. In that respect, when compared to what the level of pass-protection was like when current-center Jeremy Zuttah was manning the left guard spot, the Bucs’ OL will no doubt be better in 2012 than in 2011 – which might lead some to speculate that whoever steps up in Penn’s stead is actually the better offensive tackle. The reality is, that tackle will almost certainly not do as good a job as Penn would have, due to his highly effective skills in dealing with outside-rush, and the Bucs’ pass-pro will suffer without him.

    And yet… while Nicks’ presence alone will make the line seem better at pass-pro than when Penn was there, whoever steps up will have a very, very good chance at being much better than Penn in run-blocking, even when not accounting for what Nicks brings. The left tackle might be the person most responsible for the QB’s blindside, but if Schiano truly wants to run the ball as often as he says, might he not be better off permanently replacing Penn in the lineup with a tackle who can actually bring something to the run game, rather than someone whose drive-blocking ranges from below average, to actively harming the team? If Penn’s replacement can be even slightly better than average in protecting against outside-rush, on balance, the team may well be better off with a different left tackle. The saddest part is that Penn could be truly dominant as an all-round left tackle, if only he lost serious weight. Penn’s injury, however, will not help him lose weight, and if anything, is more likely to cause him to pile on the pounds due to the inactivity that will come with the healing process. His inability to control his weight, even with six-figure bonuses being placed in his contract to entice him to do so, already speaks of a lack of self-discipline… the fact that he has allegedly put millions of dollars in jeopardy by playing offseason basketball, despite the being allegedly forbidden to do so by his contract, and potentially putting his QB’s health at risk by doing so might be too far.