Bucs' Donald Penn headed to Pro Bowl
Donald Penn is Hawaii-bound after all.
The Bucs' left tackle, who followed up his much-awaited, multi-year contract extension with a superb season, told the Times he was informed on Sunday he would be taking the place of the Packers’ Chad Clifton in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.
With the Packers headed to the Super Bowl in two weeks after winning the NFC Championship Game, Green Bay players were essentially ruled out of the NFL's all-star showcase, to be played in Honolulu.
The Bucs had initially been snubbed in Pro Bowl voting when the original roster was released last month, but Penn was among three alternates from the Bucs. Tight end Kellen Winslow and quarterback Josh Freeman also were alternates.
At the time, Penn was outspoken about the Bucs being left out despite their 10-6 record, and saw it as an affront that neither he nor any other teammates were named.
"I know I earned that respect," he said then. "I can't control all that. I just have to work harder. This is one of the best years I've had."
Penn becomes the first Bucs offensive tackle to make the Pro Bowl and the first Tampa Bay Pro Bowl selection since 2008. The Bucs had no players in the game last season.
Penn is the second offensive tackle replacement named to the roster. Atlanta's Tyson Clabo replaced the Eagles' Jason Peters last week. Peters pulled out for undisclosed reasons.