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Q&A with Raiders T Donald Penn

A transcription of a conference call with tackle Donald Penn, who signed with the Raiders Wednesday:

Q: Was your release from Tampa Bay completely unexpected or did you see the writing on the wall?

Penn: “It was a little bit of both. Their communication really sucked. They really didn’t let me know anything. I talked to the Head Coach [Lovie Smith] when he got hired a couple of times. I talked to the O-line coach [George Warhop]. Everything sounded good, and then I just started seeing all these reports about [Anthony] Collins visiting. And the day of his signing, where he agreed to a deal, I saw those reports, still hadn’t heard anything from them. Then they call me about 10 or 15 minutes before the press conference to let me know that I was getting released.”

Q: With the way that went down, does that give you any extra motivation?

Penn: “I had a chip on my shoulder from when the season ended this past season, because I feel like I was coming off one of my worst seasons of my career. They just added more fuel to the fire, the Bucs releasing me. I do have a big chip on my shoulder, and I am ready to get back at it. I wish the season started in a month.”

Q: What was it that attracted you to the Raiders? Why did you ultimately sign with Oakland?

Penn: “I have to take my hat off to the Redskins. [I have] a lot of love and respect for a lot of guys there that coached me before in the past and have been a part of my career in the past. But, I wasn’t ready to play right tackle yet. I feel like I am a great left tackle. I had a great talk with the O-line coach in Oakland [Tony Sparano]. We had a great, great talk, and I love his scheme. They are doing great things in free agency right now. I loved talking to Coach [Dennis] Allen. His vision really sold me. And the way Greg Olson works as an offensive coordinator was big because I played with him for a couple years, and I had some of my best years as an NFL player under Greg Olson’s offense. So, I am looking to pick up from that. Being closer to home and playing for a team that I grew up watching … I used to up go to games and tailgate with my dad when I was younger. That was a big thing and trying to turn the Oakland Raiders back around to the team that I knew when I was growing up.”

Q: There has been talk about possibly Josh Freeman coming aboard. Do you think he is a guy who would fit in here?

Penn: “Yes, I do. I heard rumors about that too. I think he would fit in well. He had some of his best seasons too under Greg Olson and his offense. If Josh would come, I would love to block for him again, or whoever I have to block for. I would love to welcome Josh if it does happen.”

Q: Why do you think last year didn’t go as well for you as this past year? What was the difference you think?

Penn: “I really don’t make excuses – that’s not me. But, there was a lot of stuff that went on with the organization that I am not going to speak on. I had six different guards throughout the year playing next to me, two different quarterbacks and it’s just tough. Playing from behind a lot and stuff like that. A lot of stuff went into it, but that is the past. I am ready to move on, and I am looking forward to turning this thing around this season coming up.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • JOn Wooah

    After seeing Bortles pro day , I would say Pass. Roll with PRYOR

  • DanfromVegas

    After all these solid roster moves, I’m contemplating flying out to Oaktown to catch a game this year. I can still taste the vile from being present in that smackdown the Eagles put on us last season just when it looked like we were about to make a run for the playoffs. Longest flight back to Vegas yet.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Who of the ‘Big Four’? I’ve been partial to Bortles-yes, before today- but more partial to a Garrapola/ Mettenberg. Although the best ‘name’ is climbing- Tom Savage.

  • EMRaiders

    lol, look out man, you are feeding the wolves.

  • BOKNOWS

    Says the guy who thinks TP is the real deal and who got a raw deal…

  • RediaR

    I saw “best name” and it wasn’t followed by Wynrick Smothers. You lose 1 point.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    Big Penn: “I don’t wanna be a Bucc-a-neer no more, I’m a Raider and I block a lot.”

  • BOKNOWS

    Garbage…..

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I’ll savagely smother that notion right out of you.

  • RediaR

    bahahaha Pryor… good stuff.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Damn those caveats!

  • Umrao32

    The only thing about Penn that bothers me is his possible weight issues. If he can come in at 310 that would work better for us and for him. He played I think at 340 last year.

  • RediaR

    So he thinks Watson will perform immediately. Good to know. Solid endorsement from Penn.

  • BOKNOWS

    Lets not even go down that no where road….pryor should have switched positions long ago….he.d be our #1 receiver by now…

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Priest got it right on TP, I think. 40-50 starts and it’ll start to click for him. I don’t want to wait.

  • Umrao32

    Trent Dilfer ✔ @TDESPN Follow

    Just watched @dfales10 #RipIt at his pro day.Natural spinner of the ball, very accurate & can make every piercing throw. Trent Green clone

  • J Hill

    Because Penn hadn’t been cut yet.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Yes, but there’s that other thing about needing to win now that comes in to play.

  • LouisianaRaider

    Has Mack had his pro day yet

  • RediaR

    A 3rd or 4th rounder I endorse.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Details, details…

  • DKnight007

    Bortles has a higher ceiling than Teddy, Manziel and Carr…..easily.

  • RediaR
  • 559 Raider 87

    I’ve never watched him play. What is the analysis on him overall, not just his pro day

  • inonewordraider

    Sims, Jenkins or Rogers, Woodson or Clemons, Bush Blount or Brown, Schaub Vick or Fitzpatrick, Watkins at #5, Moore and Pryor for Carolina’s 3rd rounder, solid draft= 9-7?

  • EMRaiders

    new post

  • BOKNOWS

    Id take Carolinas 5th for him…..

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    “The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there, it’s there.” Herb Caen

  • BOKNOWS

    Don’t ask anyone on here…..hahahaha

  • DKnight007

    310? We would be lucky if he gets down to 330-328

  • JV.

    Late round pick, pretty good in a west coast offense but arm isn’t strong enough for deep passes.

  • RediaR

    In physical build possibly. He doesn’t have a bigger arm. He’s not more accurate. He hasn’t proven to have the mental aspect down as much as Teddy and Carr, though he is new to the position.

    I mean, I guess, maybe. Ceiling is almost always used as a way to back or dismiss a player due to physical build and/or athleticism alone.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Sir Blockalot in the playPenn.

  • DKnight007

    Good bargain deal for Raiders and McK

  • BOKNOWS

    It would click for me too after that many…

  • BOKNOWS

    Theres one expert…hahaha

  • DKnight007

    I would be okay with signing getting Schaub but on the cheap and then trading down a few spots and getting Bortles, Evans, or Donald.

  • BOKNOWS

    Teams always project talent….its why were only on this blog…

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Our surprising competence to open last year’s campaign was all Pryor and not DA’s and Tarver’s miracle working with a band of scrubs on D.

  • Umrao32

    Christopher Hansen ‏@ChrisHansenNFL 3m

    No matter what way I slice it, #Raiders need to spend basically 100% of cap in cash over next 3. Important to know teams can spend over 100%

    I don’t believe that is actually true. To meet the new 89% threshold Reggie has to basically spend most of the cap in the next 3 years based on the new CBA. I have to find the article that listed the actual % that we must meet.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Drinking again or again drinking??

  • Howard Benner

    Have you watched an entire game that Bortles has played? Define what in your estimation makes Bortles garbage.

    Boyd can’t go through his progressions. If the intended receiver is taken away he immediately flees the pocket. How are Boyd’s ball handling skills? Can he roll out to his left & complete a pass? He is inaccurate.

    Bortles adheres to the gameplay but can make a play with his feet when the play breaks down. He is big & mobile. he is just as adept @ completing passes while rolling to his left than any current NFL QB. He possesses Brett Favre level ballhandling skills which, when combined with his mobility buys him time, by design or by necessity. Both aspects are built into the Raiders offensive philosoply.

    Bortles can check down & go through his progressions. Bortles has the clutch gene, is charismatic & is cool under fire.

    Bortles is a fine, charismatic leader. Bortles practically encourages contact. Bortles can complete passes with defenders hanging all over him. Bortles best games were against top drawer comp.

    Bortles can make the subtle moves in the pocket to escape pressure; he plays well in the phone booth. . .

    Bortles is a student of the game. . .

    Bortles is light years better than anyone else the Raiders have. . .period!

    He throws the “bang 8 (skinny post)” well, both that are byproducts of any NFL offense & is a staple for the Raiders offense.

    Bortles is a realist. . .hardest worker on the team type. . .realizes there are team leaders in place in any NFL team & realizes he has to “earn” his way. . .

    Bortles was recruited by FOUR teams, TWO that viewed him as a TE. . .has a huge, A-Rod size chip on his shoulder. . .

    His game against Louisville? Came back from a 21 point defecit, still played within the gameplan. When theyr backs were collectively against the wall & had to matriculate the ball some 70+ yards for the game clinching TD he hit every throw save for two, which he intentionally threw away, got the last third down completion & then hit the game winning TD by buying time with his feet & threw the WR open. . .looked off the defense & hit his receiver in the vacated back of the end zone. . .subtitles that escape the ordinary fan but make raise a coach’s eyebrows. . .

    Break down your “garbage” comment, BHP. . .otherwise your comment & accompanying opinion are”garbage. . .”

    Words by themselves are meaningless if not accompanied by reason. . .not rationalization. . .

    Jason Campbell? Captain Checkdown? Consistently throws balls outside the hash marks OUT OF BOUNDS? slow to react, slow to process the defense, adequate ballnandling skills. . .I didn’t think much of him in college & NOTHING he ever did as a pro changed my eval of him. . .he’s JUST A GUY. . .he needs a running game a a crutch. . .can’t be depended on to take the reigns & win a game. . .even during his undefeated season @ Auburn playing in a gimmick running system. . .never made the adjustment to an NFL caliber QB. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Depends on whether you are a “big fish in a little pond” or a little fish in a big pond. . .”

  • Howard Benner

    I can go with that. . .politically correct. . .wonder if he learned that on the mean streets of his childhood. . .

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I don’t really mean that in an attempt to be funny or demeaning way(other than on TJ’s overblown take’s). I really think Pryor will bounce around a bit as a #2 and see enough playing time that in 3-4 years he’ll be good and maybe become damn good. And still only be 27 -28 years old with plenty of leg when necessary.

  • Howard Benner

    Blackalot out the sun. . .

    The human eclipse!

    But did you see him dunk the ball over the goalpost after catching the TD pass? Brilliant!

    And impressive. . .if he does that in Seattle it will register on the richter scale. . .

    Centurylink must be built directly on a weak place on the fault line. . .

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Anybody else read all that? OK, i’ll be honest. Did anybody read that?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Thankfully yes, thankfully.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    And I’ll thank you not to report me to the ‘Department of Redundancy Department’.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist