Penn is mightier than the punt, Bucs end minicamp early
Bucs offensive tackle Donald Penn spent the past few months telling coach Greg Schiano what a great athlete he is.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Pro Bowler got to prove it Thursday.
Nearly an hour into the final mandatory minicamp workout, Schiano called his team together and told them he would end practice immediately if Penn could catch a punt from a jugs gun stationed near midfield.
The Bucs went home early.
"The rumors, they abound,'' Schiano said of Penn's athletic prowess. "He proved himself today under pressure. He stepped up.''
Penn has two career receptions. One was a deflected pass in 2009 that he caught and advanced 15 yards. The other came in 2010 when Penn caught a 1-yard touchdown pass.
"I was joking around with coach, talking about what such a good athlete I am,'' Penn said. "You know, he threw that up there and I did a good job. I knOW I can catch. You guys know I can catch. If I had dropped it, we would've continued practicing. Since I caught it, we ended practice early, which is great. We've been working hard.''
Penn said he had never really caught punts before.
"It's a little different. He could've given me a little warning,'' Penn said. "I could've been talking to Preston Parker or Sammie Stroughter and gotten a little pointer. Everybody was all excited, and I was like, "Calm down, calm down, I got it.''