‘Skins scoop: Redskins tackle Donald Penn can’t shake the Gruden family

Posted at 2:24 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 14:24:54-04

OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders shakes hands with Donald Penn. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. – The Washington Redskins’ newly-signed tackle Donald Penn received a text from Raiders head coach Jon Gruden this morning saying, “You can’t shake the Grudens.”

For the past five seasons Penn played for Oakland, and spent last season playing for Redskins head coach Jay Gruden’s brother when he took over the team in 2018.

“I grew up a Raiders fan so it was kind of like a dream come playing for a team I grew up watching,” said Penn, who grew up in Los Angeles. “I did a lot of special things there, I have a lot of special friends there and I was playing – I thought I was going to retire a Raider, but it didn’t happen like that.

TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 11: Donald Penn #70 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebtrates his first quarter touchdown. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“Now I’m a Redskin, I’m ready for this new chapter and I’m happy. ”

New team. Coach from the same family tree.

“I was with Donald in Tampa Bay,” said Jay, who was an assistant coach with Tampa for seven seasons. “(Wide receivers coach) Ike [Hillard] played with him, (quarterbacks coach) Tim [Ratty] played with him; we’ve known Donald for a long time.”

Going from one Gruden team to another is a benefit for Penn, who’s noticed many similarities in the way the the Gruden siblings run an offense.

GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 22: Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers rushes against Donald Penn #72 of the Oakland Raiders. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

“They threw me in today and I was picking up pretty fast,” Penn said. “I was surprised because when I got in there and met with them this morning, I’m like, ‘Oh, I know this. Oh, I know that. Oh, I know that.’ They’re very similar, you know they’re brothers, they’re very similar.”

Related: Redskins add Donald Penn and Hugh Thornton to offensive line