Is Saints Rookie Tackle Trevor Penning Too Aggressive?
The Saints drafted rookie tackle Trevor Penning in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Born and raised in Iowa, Penning went to Northern Iowa University, where he played well consistently. But he tended to draw a lot of flags, and played with a significant nasty streak.
In his draft profile, NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein wrote, "Penning plays with a level of disgust for anyone lining up against him."
In interviews, Penning has stated that his favorite part of playing football is "legally assaulting" opposing players.
Long story short, dude's aggressive.
But is he too aggressive?
Penning has made some waves in Saints training camp, leading many to ask that same question.
In fact, the very first day pads went on, Penning was already getting into it with his own teammates, after a scrappy play in which he held up second-year Saints edge rusher Payton Turner turned into a quick physical altercation.
Ignoring Penning's clear hold on the play (even he admits he needs to work on his hands), Turner seems to have really instigated the fight.
But that's NFL training camp. Everyone is competing, wanting to prove themselves. Tempers just flare sometimes in the Louisiana heat.
Except yesterday, Penning found himself in two more dust-ups.
And this very morning, Penning finds himself watching practice from the side because of another scrap.
He needs to get it under control. Although...
There's a difference between starting a fight because you lose a rep, and starting a fight because you win one.
Holding aside, not a single altercation started by Penning happened after he lost a rep.
It seems Penning has a similar quality to another beloved member of the Black and Gold, CJGJ.
Gardner-Johnson has that magical trash-talk quality to him that just makes his opponents angry. Plenty of great trash-talkers over the years relish making their on-field enemies throw the first punch, but one common theme separates a trash-talking bum from a trash-talking G.O.A.T.
Backing up the talk with high-level play.
Penning has impressed so far with his footwork and willingness to play past the whistle, but obviously his hands still need a ton of work.
Saints fans are split on their opinion of the big nasty tackle.
Some are concerned his bad attitude may be a liability.
Others love the fire and aggressiveness he puts into every down, even suggesting that he may in fact have internalized some canines.
Look, Penning was drafted because of that aggressiveness. If he can clean up his technique, I for one would love to have the bad boy swagger of Gardner-Johnson on the other side of the ball too. That being said, he has to find a limit. A good place to start would be not ticking off his own teammates.
All about balance.
Saints Attitude Era, perhaps?