Take Comfort In The Donald Penn Story

August 21st, 2018

A good lesson for Bucs fans on this dark day

Eleven years ago a good Bucs team lost its starting left tackle with a September injury and in came an undrafted backup who had never started at the position.

No problem.

Tampa Bay marched behind a beastly ground game to a division title — all locked up with two weeks left in the season.

The left tackle was Donald Penn, who never missed a Bucs start until Lovie Smith and Jason Licht ran him out of town for no good reason during the 2014 offseason. Penn was a Pro Bowler last season for the Raiders and is making the transition to right tackle this year to accommodate the Raiders’ first-round pick at left tackle.

Joe is highlighting this in the wake of today’s apparently significant injury to Donovan Smith.

Yeah, the Bucs might have to turn to an unproven left tackle in 26-year-old Michael Lietdke, a 2016 practice squad guy who was on the 53-man roster for a bit last season. Undrafted out of Illinois State in 2015, Liedtke bounced between the Dolphins, Jets, Chiefs and Browns before landing with the Bucs.

He’s looked pretty good in preseason. Is it fair to assume he flat out sucks and can’t play? Joe suspects many thought of Donald Penn the same way in 2006.

Of course, the Bucs could move Demar Dotson to left tackle, if necessary, a 2014 experiment that didn’t go well after the Bucs benched Anthony Collins, Penn’s replacement.

It’s a mystery how this all shakes out. But Joe’s not going to moan and assume today that Lietdke is a steaming pile of garbage who would ruin the Bucs offense before seeing him play with the first team. Dotson was once an undrafted nobody, too.

36 Responses to “Take Comfort In The Donald Penn Story”

  1. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Any updates on Gardner/Wester?

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    Let’s do it to it and hope for the best. Go Bucs!

  3. gilhealy Says:

    I’ve only heard Lietdke named by the staff in a positive light. From what I remember Joe, I believe you had him doing well in 1 on1’s. Maybe the guy’s got an attitude, and is finally coming into his own. We don’t know. But we can hope. Only an opportunity will tell us.

  4. SOEbuc Says:


    Penn had an attitude. No wait…he was just gigantic walking,talking douchebag.

  5. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Out of any position on a football team it seems like the online is the easiest to find “nobodies” who are undrafted or just cut from another team before they get to their final 53. It’s possible we can find someone serviceable before season starts

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    I wouldn’t say their was no good reason Joe. He’s the biggest a-hole in the history of the league constantly arguing and fighting with team mates at practice, and when you got Aqib Talib, 2nd biggest a-hole, on the other side of the ball it’s hard for a team to gel. And he never made weight and always bitched about it. But of course him and Talib went on to better teams and became better players.

  7. SOEbuc Says:

    Damn! He straight up bounced JPP!

  8. BucEmUp Says:

    Doe yeah two a holes that are excellent at they’re positions. Warren Sapp was an A hole . Many players are a holes. Doesn’t mean you trade them for tissue paper.

  9. SOEbuc Says:


    Warren Sapp might be the greatest DT of all time so he’s allowed to be one. Like I said Penn never made weight and he was more of a b!tch/a-hole about things. And I don’t know remember that little taxi cab driver/ Talib incident but I do and he’s been suspended for drugs.

  10. DB55 Says:

    Is there another team in the nfl that has more UDFAs in their starting line-up?

    Fitz (7 rnd pick)
    Ryan Griffin (chances are he has to play)
    Cross (fb)
    Auclair (fb)
    Demar Dotson
    Michael Liedtke
    Adam Humphries
    Evan Smith
    Ryan Jensen (6th rnd pick)

    Beau Allen (7th rnd pick)

    Oddly enough the O plays better than the D and more than half of The O is undrafted, I wonder how much of their success is due to jw?

  11. Dooshlarue Says:

    If you really want to feel better on this “dark day” Joe, go back to last season and re read all the Morning After articles about Donovan Smith not doing his job.
    I think his reliability and nice guy attitude have skewed your assessment of him.
    He’s just ok, nothing more.

    Go Bucs!

  12. Mike Says:

    Blount was an ahole too as well as Bennett

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    Sapp is possibly the best DT of all time so he’s allowed to be one. Penn was an ahole that never made weight and constantly biotched about it and other things. Don’t know if you remember that taxi cab incident with Talib. I sure do.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Yes their are tons of a-holes in all pro sports. They’re all raged out roided out guys getting paid millions of dollars. But these guys were bad news.

    Rick Stroud writes that Blount was fined more than $15,000 for repeatedly showing up late to practice. His tardiness became so common that eventually the team arranged for him to hire a car service with a driver who would wake him up in the morning and bring him to the team’s practice facilities. After that worked for a few weeks the Bucs figured Blount could cancel the car service because he had figured out what time he needed to get up and get going to get to practice on time. And then Blount was late again on the very first day the car service was canceled. And so they re-ordered it for Blount, and a car and driver kept taking him to practice in 2010 and in 2011. And even when he sleeps in, Blount still apparently needs more sleep, because he also has a history of falling asleep in team meetings.

    Bennett move was just stupid.

  15. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    Bucs need aholes, mentally weak career loser choirboys like lvd and gmc have proven thats is a failed formula under thier captaincy but tgey have collected a record number of basement titles

  16. Jeffbuc Says:

    Well the bucs just saved a lot of money when they resign Smith now. Hard to demand top tackle salary when you miss the whole season in your contract year. All the people that thought Smith was average at best are going to see how valuable he was. But as the optimistic I am going to say we never really realize he is out of the lineup.

  17. SOEbuc Says:

    Blount couldn’t even get out of bed in time for practice and slept through meetings. Bennett move was just straight up stupid.

  18. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    Both Bennett and blount have had more success in the nfl than the entire Buccaneers organization has had in 42 damn years… people in glass houses should not throw rocks

  19. SOEbuc Says:


    I’ve never been a gigantic fan of Smith like the franchise has been since he’s got here. Always say he’s looking better every year but he’s not a top shelf LT that deserves top shelf type bills. I wanna see this guy come in and dominate if Smith is seriously hurt. Save some serious dough next year.

  20. DB55 Says:

    SOEbuc Says:
    August 21st, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    Blount couldn’t even get out of bed in time for practice and slept through meetings. Bennett move was just straight up stupid.
    And how many SB rings do they have? You trying to build a Boy Scout troop or a football team?

  21. unbelievable Says:

    @Dirk’s Grandpappy-

    I would love for that to be true, but don’t you think if it was, the Bucs would have shored up their o-line last year? Or the year before?

  22. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Isn’t Michael Lietdke more suited at guard rather than Tackle? If I not mistaken, he is listed at 6-3, 305 lbs.

  23. John Says:

    Any news on donovan smith??

  24. Season Is Over Says:

    I love how the running game is the Achilles heel yet not one story on the front page. The running game sucked before the left tackle went down. Rojo is a bad joke until proven otherwise. Is Mr. Magoo supposed to pass for 500 yards each game like they expected of him to do last year? Am I the only one that thinks relying on an undrafted Barber and Rodgers for a second year in a row is lunacy? Licht should have signed Peterson. Instead, he must be up in his office reading all the Joebuc articles telling him how great he is. How can a jabroni on the couch see this and someone making millions is oblivious?

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs appear to be a position at the moment where they NEED to make a trade. If you’ve got an abundance of talent in 1 or 2 position groups but are sucking hind teet in several others, then voila, it’s time to explore ways to balance things up a little bit. Trading is one of those obviously, as is scouring other teams’ cuts in a week or so. Our OLine & our Secondary are a bit suspect right now, but there’s still time to fix them before the real season starts. Come on Jason, time to work some magic.

  26. Bird Says:

    Reports are both Evans and smith could be available for week 1.

    Not as severe as thought

  27. Stanglassman Says:

    Bird- What’s your source? I’d love to believe this but can’t until I find out who is saying this.

  28. Mike Johnson Says:

    Penn spoke his mind. And let you know he could care less bout what YOU..thought about him. Tampa bounced him. But hell, he made even more money. As for Smith’s injury. I wish him the best. Butt..there are no excuses in this league. Its next man up. Other teams plug in guys and keep on steppin. We should be no exception. I don’t want to hear the excuses. Win or go home!

  29. Bobby M. Says:

    If the back office is trying to sign players or work a trade….making it obvious we are in need only makes negotiating harder….I bet they are working the phones. Starting safeties are on the street right now….Starting LT…not so much. Package a RT and WR for Penn….Oakland moved him to RT, if Smith is ok, we can do the same.

  30. Bird Says:

    I may get banned if I Announce another site here?

  31. Bird Says:

    The pew….plank

  32. Stanglassman Says:

    Rick Stroud
    Bucs are optimistic that both LT Donovan Smith and S Justin Evans will be ready for Week 1 vs the Saints.

  33. Stanglassman Says:

    Thanks Bird.
    I just checked TBO Twitter and P Plank about an hour ago, guess it was before these were posted. This is great news. I sure hope the Bucs optimism is warranted.

  34. SOEbuc Says:


    “And how many SB rings do they have? You trying to build a Boy Scout troop or a football team?”

    I get payed $10/hour and I’m on time to work everyday and don’t pull guns on taxi drivers.

    Bad attitudes and bad work habits. Op

  35. Mike Says:

    Blount didn’t have any problem racking up touchdowns for teams without garbage o lines- closest thing to alstott this league has seen-

    Team is soft

    Blount punched people in the mouth

    LAvonte David has been gunshy since his late hit against the jets

    Bennett- great
    Talib- great
    Penn- great

    We cut all the players with a mean streak

    Terrible front office

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    DB55, that’s a great point about the undrafted players. 32 teams missed the call on those guys. Amazing.