NAPA, Calif. — Donald Penn walked to the huddle Tuesday morning and assumed his ordinary place, a spot the place he has began greater than 100 video games, a location the place he’s earned three Professional Bowl picks, a area he’s known as house for the majority of an 11-year NFL profession.
His outdated spot.
Effectively, that is awkward.
“The primary time we went on the market, he began strolling to the left facet,” quarterback Derek Carr mentioned. “We kinda simply checked out him and waited till he received to the precise facet. It’ll be all proper.”
Stated Penn: “I’m like, ‘Oh (shoot). My unhealthy. Let me go over there.’”
Forgive Penn for the drive of behavior. A day after accepting a contract restructure that ostensibly was a pay reduce in design, the Raiders offensive deal with practiced for the primary time since present process December foot surgical procedure. He took first-team reps at proper deal with as a substitute of his customary left deal with.
A brand new worth sooner or later. A brand new place the subsequent.
As a lot as could possibly be anticipated, he appears to be dealing with the change in stride.
The 35-year-old acknowledged Tuesday it is going to be a course of to develop comfy at proper deal with. For months, he has labored to study coach Jon Gruden’s offense with the expectation that he can be on the left facet. However with rookie first-round choose Kolton Miller showing entrenched at left deal with, he now should regulate.
Penn mentioned that, when listening to some audibles Tuesday, he initially interpreted his would-be task as a left deal with. Earlier than at the least one play, he positioned his left hand within the grass earlier than catching himself and switching to his proper. As he works to develop a rhythm, there may be the matter of bodily conditioning, too.
“I must get into that fine condition,” Penn mentioned. “I’m in fine condition now, however I’m not in soccer form.”
Penn seems decided to do what’s required.
The Raiders drafted Miller on April 26 and Brandon Parker, a third-round alternative, on the 27th. The veteran fairly simply might have huffed and puffed publicly about wanting out of Oakland, about demanding a commerce. Moderately, he moved sufficient previous that preliminary frustration part to function a mentor for each rookies.
Whereas injured, he supplied recommendation in conferences and between drills throughout observe.
Miller performed some proper deal with at UCLA, however the crew thinks the 22-year-old has sufficient on his plate from a method and general consolation standpoint when adjusting to the NFL. Turning his world backward at present with a place change was not a sexy choice. Thus, Penn was flipped.
The place change was mentioned throughout contract discussions. Earlier than the 9:15 a.m. begin of Tuesday’s observe, the crew notified him the change would start that morning.
“They talked to me about attempting it out, about seeing how I might really feel over there,” Penn mentioned. “I advised them, ‘I’m prepared to do no matter it takes to assist this crew win, and for those who really feel like that’s going to be in the very best curiosity of the crew, I’ll do it.’ Right this moment it felt very awkward and rusty. However I would like time to develop.
“I don’t know if that’s going to be a everlasting factor or not but, however it’s one thing we’re testing out, and I advised them we’re all for it. We’ve received a younger child over there who’s doing numerous good issues.”