As the Oakland Raiders are in the mist of their third Organized Team Activities session, leadership as been one of themes. The Raiders brought in players like Justin Tuck, who was a captain in New York and has translated that to Oakland in a short time. On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Matt Schaub has been talked about as a player taking on a leadership role. Another player who is really taking his leadership duties seriously is left tackle Donald Penn.
As part of the that leadership role, Penn is keeping a close eye on younger players, who the Raiders are counting on this season. He is working against first round pick Khalil Mack in pass rushing drills and giving him tips. That has prompted Penn to heap praise on the 2014 first round pick.
“I see him picking at Tuck’s ear all the time, getting advice,” Penn said of Mack. “Khalil is a special athlete. I can tell by watching some of his movements, and the way that he can put his foots in the ground and change direction, for him to be doing that as a defensive end, he looks like he’s a defensive back. For a guy that size to be doing that, I think he’s going to get a lot of sacks late in the down because he has a motor on him that’s relentless.”
Penn has taken a leadership role along the offensive line as well. He is working to help one of the most important pieces in right tackle Menelik Watson. Injuries have slowed Watson's development, but the former second-round pick is being counted on the start at right tackle in 2014. Donald Penn sees Watson's potential and has taken him under his wing to help him learn and get better.
“Menelik Watson, he’s a tremendous athlete,” Penn said. “My thing is, I don’t think Menelik knows how good he can be yet. I see a lot of potential in him. He has some great feet, which is important as a tackle. He’s working hard and he’s doing a lot of good things and I’ve been in his ear a lot. He’s one of those guys I’m going to try to take under my wing, him and [Matt] McCants. They’re really picking my brain and I’m telling them when they’re right, telling them when they’re wrong to the side. I like Menelik a lot.”
Tags: Donald Penn, Football, Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack, Matt Schaub, Menelik Watson, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders