The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' most high-profiled unit – the offensive line – struggled greatly last Friday night against the Tennessee Titans. There is reason for hope after their poor performance though. That's because left tackle Donald Penn, a Pro Bowl selection in 2010, rejoined his teammates on the practice field Monday.
"It felt good to go back out there," said Penn. "Never really missed practice before in my career so this was a first for me. I have been really itching to get back. Just happy to get back out there with the guys. Get the pads back on and get a feel for everything.
Josh Freeman's blind side protector was immediately put into the starting lineup, replacing Demar Dotson, who started the first two preseason games in Penn's absence. Penn admitted that he didn't practice to the best of his abilities today, but he doesn't think it will be long for he is back to normal.
"When you play as much football as I have, being thrown in there should not be a problem,'' Penn said. "There's still a lot of stuff I've got to get fixed. I've got a lot of catching up to do. I think I'm good on the protections and the run plays, I've been studying a lot in the meetings and stuff. It's just about getting my footwork together. I played super high today, which happens everybody's first day… But it was good to get some cobwebs off and it was great to be out here with these guys."
Penn missed all of training camp and the team's first two preseason games because of a calf injury he suffered at home in California just days before training camp started.
"It was a freak accident back at home,'' Penn said. "I was running the conditioning test my last time before I came out here to run and I felt something pull in my calf. That next day, it swelled up real bad and I called the coach the first thing in the morning. Because I'm never hurt. I play through it. It was a little damper and I got through that real fast and am just trying to build on that. You can't be mad and down on yourself."
Even though he is back and running with the starters, Penn doesn't know how much action he will see in the Bucs' final two preseason games.
"That’s not up to me," Penn said. "I hope I am out there as long as the No. 1’s are out there, but I am going to do whatever coach tells us. Like I have been doing. I think that’s what a lot of guys are doing. Coach tells us what to do and we are doing it and following his lead."
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/j2o