The Oakland Raiders signed offensive lineman Donald Penn Wednesday afternoon. The veteran spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins in 2006 out of Utah State.
During his time in Tampa, Penn played in 112 games and started 108. He was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl and started 92 consecutive games for the Buccaneers. The 6-5, 340-pound lineman has some hands too, catching three passes for 19 yards and two touchdowns.
Penn was born in Los Angeles where he grew up a Raiders fan. “Being closer to home and playing for a team I grew up watching - I used to go to games and tailgate with my dad when I was younger - that was a big thing,” said Penn. “Trying to turn the Raiders back around to the team I knew when I was growing up.
The confident offensive lineman was impressed with the Raiders coaching staff and has ties to offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “I feel like I’m a great left tackle and I had a great talk with the O-line coach [Tony Sparano] in Oakland. We had a great, great talk and I love the scheme,” said Penn. “They’re doing great things in free agency right now. I loved talking to Coach Allen, his vision really sold me. The way Greg Olson works as offensive coordinator was big because I played with him a couple years and I had some of my best years as an NFL player under Greg Olson’s offense. So I’m looking to pick up on that.”
Penn comes to the Raiders hungry for success. “I had a chip on my shoulder when the season ended this past season because I feel like I was coming off one of my worst seasons of my career and they just added more fuel to the fire, the Bucs releasing me,” said Penn. “So I do have a big chip on my shoulder and I’m ready to get back at it. I wish the season started in a month.”
He’s looking forward to bringing out the best in himself and his new team. “I’m looking forward to turning this thing around this season coming up.”