Starting left tackle Donald Penn who was looking forward to nurturing Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round pick, defensive end Adrian Clayborn was said to have been working harder then he’s every worked before in practice. Penn who arrived at camp in the best shape he’s been since becoming a starter for the Bucs has had his hands full as the teacher, as he’s channeling his focus on helping Clayborn prepare for his first season in the NFL.
Penn has shut down some of the games elite pass rusher over the past couple of seasons, still he has never had to work this hard in practice everyday. Battling against Clayborn has been a real challenge for the fifth year pro mainly due to Clayborn’s, effort and his quick counter moves.
Penn delivered some of the more interesting commentary on the battles being waged in training camp between the teacher and student, courtesy of the Tampa Tribune Penn readily admits that he’s getting just as much of an education as Clayborn is.
“One of the strong points that I see in him already is trying to get him off that block on the run, he really holds his ground good there and that’s going to help our defense set that edge.” “Once I stop his first move, his counter move comes like that,” Penn said, snapping his fingers. “So, I have to get on him quick. I can’t give him a lot of space and let him get a head of steam, because when he gets a head of steam going he’s a piece of work.”
Just like most, skepticisms and doubt creep to the forefront when a player praises a teammate, but rarely does Penn go out of his way to sing the praise of a player when it’s unwarranted. In the long run Clayborn’s ability to apply pressure on a consistent basis in practice will only make both himself and Penn better as the season progresses.
There no doubt will be trials and tribulations during Clayborn’s rookie season and just the daily rigors of the NFL will take a toll but thus far the early returns seem to be in the Bucs favor.