Penn celebrates milestone in style
This time around, Donald Penn took no chances. Almost three years to the day that Penn registered his first NFL touchdown, the left tackle of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened the scoring Monday night by catching a 1-yard pass from rookie Mike Glennon.
On Nov. 21, 2010, Penn grabbed a 1-yard scoring pass from Josh Freeman in a 21-0 victory at San Francisco. He then tried to throw the ball into the stands at Candlestick Park, where Penn's family was sitting, but his toss fell woefully short, prompting this retort by former Tampa Bay middle linebacker Barrett Ruud: “As bad a body as he has, Donald's pretty nimble. It was a graceful catch and an awful celebration.”
Against the Dolphins, Penn reported as a tackle-eligible and lined up on the left side of the line as Tampa Bay faced third down from Miami's 1-yard line. On the snap after running back Mike James injured his ankle, Glennon faked a handoff to Brian Leonard as Penn ran out uncovered in the left corner of the end zone.
After hauling in Glennon's flip for an early 7-0 advantage, the former high school basketball player in southern California jumped up and tossed the ball over the crossbar with his left hand as the home crowd cheered. The score came just moments after the scoreboard at Raymond James Stadium reminded fans that Penn was making his 101st consecutive start as a Buccaneer.
“Donald's been telling me how good his hands are,” said former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks, on hand to celebrate Warren Sapp's induction into the franchise's Ring of Honor. “I said, 'Yeah, for blocking somebody.' Tonight, I'm quite sure that when the game's over, Donald will be texting, wanting me to say he's got the best hands I've ever seen.”