Penn anxious to return but Schiano wants him in shape and 100 percent
Injured Bucs left tackle Donald Penn met coach Greg Schiano off the practice field Wednesday and apparently expressed how anxious he is to return from a calf strain he suffered a week before training camp.
Penn, who is on the non-football injury reserve list, has been working with trainers for nearly two weeks to rehab the injury, at times dragging heavy weights strapped to a harness the length of a football field.
Meanwhile, Demar Dotson has taken all the reps at left tackle with the starting offense and will line up there in Friday's preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins.
In addition to wanting Penn to be 100 percent, Schiano believes the extra work will help him get into top playing condition. Penn has a weight clause in his contract and last season struggled at times to reach the 330-pound threshold.
"He's excited to get back,'' Schiano said of Penn. "He wants to do it. I want to make sure that when we bring him back, he's good to go, but what we don't want is a lingering injury. It's given him an opportunity to really get himself into pretty good shape, which sometimes is not as bad as you think.
"As long as we get him back where he'll have time to sharpen up his game and knock the rust off and be ready to play, that will be the key. And I think he will.''