The ink was barely dry on the contract for new LT Anthony Collins and the Bucs did the inevitable by cutting the Senior-most buccaneer (by a week after Davin Joseph was also shown the door) leaving Jeremy Zuttah as the current Bucs Iron man.
Penn knew his job on the O-line was in a weaker position than it's ever been since 2007. You see the Bucs shelled out a lot of money back then to bring in a freeagent LT Luke Pettigout, and when he fell to injury at Carolina on the same day the Bucs lost Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay went to little known Tackle then pro scout named Mark Dominik found on Minnesota's practice squad named Donald Penn. He stepped in…and filled in admirably…with a little 'tude.
In the end that was probably what didn't sit we'll with Lovie Smith. Notice I didn't call him new coach Lovie Smith? There's no need for that anymore. If the last few days didn't show us that Smith is putting his stamp on the team…..well nothing will.
Smith sat out all year and watched the NFL landscape closely. He planned and schemed- rumour had it sometime after the Carolina massacre week 8 the Glazers already put feelers out for Lovie. I wonder how close he watched Tampa Bay the way he made such surgical precision with the moves as soon as Free Agency started.
Smith is a Dungy disciple, but Dungy didn't have to get rid of fan favorites. Dungy was building a team a different way…but he knew he had the time. When he took over in 1996 Dungy let go some decent players who didn't make the mold. Tyji Armstrong and Lamar Thomas were the starting TE and WR respectively, but they had legal issues during the offseason.
Not to say Penn or Joseph had legal issues. if anything it seems Lovie is showing patience with Mike Williams who has not really done anything wrong per se but sometimes just being in the news is not a good thing. Penn on the other hand was always outspoken. Last year blaming the media for the Bucs problems had many Bucs fans chatting away on every side possible.
But it's never easy to watch a Favorite Bucs player go. Maybe Derrick Brooks was the hardest…and if any one came close it was probably John Lynch. We spend years cheering for these guys, watching them winning games building a bond with the fan base. Alstott went out on his own. Shelton Quarrels and Simeon Rice didn't. No one cared about Sapp!!!
You could say the NFL stands for Not Fair League; Raheem Morris takes a young team to 10-6 and is told to get younger and don't even think about free agents. After a rediculously young team quits on him, the Bucs spend money on Free Agents galore but don't have the coaching!! Sciano gets rid of Morrises players and now Smith gets rid of everyone's! Penn and Joseph were Gruden guys…and only Zuttah is left from our SuperBowl winning coach, who was let go because he told the Glazers they HAD to spend money on Free Agents!
If anything has been stressed it's thatThe NFL has limited seating with a seemingly unlimited fan base. The two don't mix well.