Three fights in three days removed a Saints rookie from practice

Trevor Penning

Trevor Penning
photo: AP

I know soccer is a physical sport, but when it’s your first time at OTAs and you’re looking to make an impression that will keep you on an NFL roster for years to come, arguing with your teammates doesn’t seem like the best. course of action.

A fight? Okay, maybe it was just a miscommunication or a misunderstanding of the team’s practical culture. Two fights? Now, you are entering dangerous territory. Three fights? You now have a reputation and are asking to be scolded by your team. This is exactly what Trevor Penning did in the first round of the Saints. Even worse, Penning participated in these fights for three consecutive days. He was becoming a tradition of the saints: stretching, gymnastics, positional exercises, scrimmage deployment, fight penning. Saints coach Dennis Allen probably put him into the team’s training schedule that morning.

Penning is known for being an aggressive kid in the trenches. He has even publicly stated that his favorite part of football is “attacking the person in front of you”.

Not a good look for someone who’s been called “absolutely amazing” And “excessively aggressive. ”

Surprisingly, many people came to Penning’s defense in the comment section of the tweet I referred to. Several people claimed that Penning was just “playing through the whistle” or “playing hard”. Others have claimed that Penning did not start some of the fights.

In the video, we can see punches being thrown in Penning’s direction before Penning makes any non-kick-related moves towards the other player. To those defenses I ask, “Would it still be ‘playing hard’ if one of Penning’s teammates ended up getting injured?” and “Clearly, Penning has a reputation, so I doubt this is the first kerfuffle he’s been in. If the opposing player believes Penning could start fighting them at any time, I’d punch too to try and get it over with before begin. ” There is a difference between playing hard and playing to hurt someone. Saints know the difference all too well. Penning is out of step with the times. For years he has been going the wrong way, probably just because he was too talented to be scolded in college.

Penning had this problem with aggression for a while. Even in the Senior Bowl, Penning, who played for Northern Iowa, was consistently seen going a little too fast behind some of his opponents.

You can tell from the reactions of the people Penning was against that Penning’s so-called “aggression” was not normal. It could be argued that all of these guys were just upset that Penning beat them, but with so many players getting mad, you have to look at the common denominator. When many of a man’s ex-girlfriends speak ill of him, it probably means he was the problem and vice versa.

These aggressive tendencies aren’t even an indication of greatness in the NFL. Most of the time, they only bring unwanted attention and / or problems. Penning will replace Terron Armstead as the Saints’ starting right tackle next season. Armstead was, and still is, one of the best left-wing tackles in the game. He earned three consecutive Pro Bowl nominations from 2018-2020. Was Armstead ever a problem at Saints’ training? No. Is David Bakhtiari a problem in Packers’ studio? Sure, Trent Williams had all that stamina situation with the commanders and once punched Richard Sherman in the face, but at least those two didn’t have to share the same locker room. Quenton Nelson? Corey Linsey? Do I believe Humphrey? Joel Bitonio? Ryan Ramczyk? Joe Thuney? Orlando Brown Jr? Ronny Stanley? Have any of them had a history of violence against teammates? No, yet they are all considered to be some of the best offensive linemen in the NFL today. Shocking, I know. How were they able to get big without starting any fights during training? It is an unsolvable mystery that science may never be able to answer.

While any NFL team would rather have an offensive lineman who needs to tone things down rather than elevate his physicality, teams also really appreciate a guy who knows when to turn off that aggression and how to be a good teammate who doesn’t. risk injuring other players. When even the coach of the team says “we don’t have time for [Penning’s actions]”, You know there is something wrong.

There have been a multitude of great NFL players who struggled with attitude adjustments early in their NFL careers. Vernon Davis is the first person that comes to my mind, that he needed Mike Singletary to help him out before he was ready to enter the stratosphere of the NFL’s tight end elites. There are other examples as well, but more often than not, when that player’s attitude is not checked, he can never fully commit to his team and become a detriment rather than an asset. So, yes, the Saints should be worried about Penning’s antics. They spent a first round pick on him and expect him to be a vital part of the team’s offensive line going forward. He better get his head right.