Donald Penn vents about missing Pro Bowl cut
Bucs left tackle Donald Penn was still steaming today, a full day after he learned he nor any teammates were selected to the NFC's Pro Bowl roster.
And Penn isn't going quietly, speaking out in no uncertain terms about what he deems a lack of respect for the Bucs and their talent.
"We're one of those aspiring teams but I think this league is kind of stuck in the past," Penn said. "There's nothing we can do about it. It's real funny when (teams) with losing records have so many guys in the Pro Bowl. That's crazy."
Penn added, "I was so shocked. I'm still shocked. Especially looking at my (position). I'm super shocked."
Penn was named an alternate to the game behind offensive-tackle selections Jordan Gross of Carolina, Chad Clifton of Green Bay and Jason Peters of Philadelphia. Gross was the selection that left Penn most surprised, especially given Carolina's 2-13 record.
The NFL uses votes from players, coaches and fans to compile the rosters, and Penn suggested fan sentiment beyond Tampa Bay about the Bucs played a big role in the Bucs being snubbed.
"(Exposure) has a tremendous (amount) to do with it," Penn said. "We haven't been on prime time in the past two years. I don't think people in the league respect us. I think that's one of the big things and it shows with the Pro Bowl ballots. People around the league don't respect us. Analysts and commentators don't respect us. It shows. You take it for what it's worth. I guess I have to work a lot harder. I guess what I did this year wasn’t good enough."
Among players and coaches, Penn said he felt he has left a favorable impression, even if that wasn't enough to land him a spot.
"I know I have respect against players," he said. "They can hate if they want. But when they look at the stat sheet or, at the end of the game, when they feel beat up, I know I earned that respect. But, man, I can't control all that. I just have to work harder. This is one of the best years I've had.
"It's a shame. (Kellen Winslow) is having a great year. Josh Freeman has one of the best passer ratings in the NFC. It's just crazy."