Three fights in three days acquired a Saints rookie faraway from apply

Trevor Penning
Picture: AP

I do know soccer is a bodily sport, however when it’s your first time at OTAs, and also you’re making an attempt to make an impression that may preserve you on an NFL roster for years to return, getting in fights along with your teammates doesn’t look like the most effective plan of action.

One struggle? Okay, possibly it was only a miscommunication or a misunderstanding of the workforce’s apply tradition. Two fights? Now, you’re stepping into dicey territory. Three fights? Now you’ve acquired a fame and also you’re asking to get reprimanded by your workforce. That’s precisely what Saints’ first-round rookie deal with Trevor Penning did although. Even worse, Penning acquired into these fights on three consecutive days. It was turning into a Saints’ custom: Stretch, calisthenics, positional drills, line up for scrimmage, struggle Penning. Saints’ head coach Dennis Allen in all probability penciled it into the workforce’s apply schedule that morning.

Penning is understood for being an aggressive man within the trenches. He’s even publicly acknowledged that his favourite a part of soccer is “assaulting the particular person throughout from you.”

That’s not a superb search for somebody who has been referred to as a “complete prick” and “overly aggressive.”

Surprisingly, a lot of people came to Penning’s defense in the comment section of the tweet I referenced. Several people were claiming that Penning was just “playing through the whistle” or “playing hard.” Others claimed that Penning didn’t start some of the fights.

In the video, we can see punches being thrown in Penning’s direction before Penning makes any non-football-related move toward 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 found himself in. If the opposing player believes Penning could start fighting them at any moment, I’d throw a punch too to try to end it before it starts.” There’s a difference between playing hard and playing to hurt someone. The Saints know the distinction all too properly. Penning doesn’t toe the road. For years, he’s lept to the incorrect aspect, doubtless solely getting away with it as a result of he was too proficient to be reprimanded in school.

Penning has had this situation with aggressiveness for some time. Even on the Senior Bowl, Penning, who performed for Northern Iowa, was seen continually going a little bit too laborious after a few of his opponents.

You may inform by the reactions of the individuals Penning was going in opposition to that Penning’s so-called “aggression” wasn’t regular. You may make the argument that each one these guys had been simply upset that Penning beat them, however with so many gamers getting upset, you must have a look at the widespread denominator. When a number of of a person’s ex-girlfriends speak shit about him, that in all probability means he was the issue and vice versa.

These aggressive tendencies aren’t a sign of greatness within the NFL both. Most of the time, they simply carry undesirable consideration and/or bother. Penning will substitute Terron Armstead because the Saints’ beginning proper deal with within the upcoming season. Armstead was, and nonetheless is, among the best left tackles within the game. He earned three consecutive Professional Bowl nods from 2018 to 2020. Was Armstead ever a difficulty at Saints’ apply? No. Is David Bakhtiari an issue at Packers’ apply? Certain, Trent Williams had that entire holdout scenario with the Commanders and as soon as punched Richard Sherman within the face, however a minimum of these two didn’t should share the identical locker room. Quenton Nelson? Corey Linsley? Creed Humphrey? Joel Bitonio? Ryan Ramczyk? Joe Thuney? Orlando Brown Jr.? Ronnie Stanley? Have any of them had a historical past of violence in opposition to teammates? No, but they’re all thought of a number of the greatest offensive linemen within the NFL at the moment. Surprising, I do know. How had been they in a position to turn into nice with out beginning any fights at apply? It’s an unsolvable thriller that science might by no means have the ability to reply.

Whereas any NFL workforce would like to have an offensive lineman who must tone issues down moderately than elevate his physicality, groups are additionally very appreciative of a man who is aware of when to show that aggressiveness off and easy methods to be a superb teammate who doesn’t threat hurting different gamers. When even the workforce’s head coach says “we don’t have time for [Penning’s actions],” you realize there’s one thing incorrect.

There was a mess of nice NFL gamers who struggled with perspective changes early of their NFL careers. Vernon Davis is the primary individual that involves thoughts. He wanted Mike Singletary to put into him earlier than he was able to erupt into the stratosphere of the NFL’s tight finish elites. There are different examples too, however as a rule, when stated player’s perspective isn’t checked, they’ll by no means totally decide to their workforce they usually turn into a detriment moderately than an asset. So, sure, the Saints ought to be fearful by Penning’s antics. They spent a first-round choose on him and count on him to be an important a part of the workforce’s offensive line shifting ahead. He higher rattling properly get his head straight. 

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