Saints player actively helping Buccaneers ahead of 2022

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Teams like the Buccaneers love it when their opponents work against themselves. That looks like what is happening with the Saints.

It is fair to say at this point that the Buccaneers would like every advantage they can get when playing against the Saints.

New Orleans owns this matchup outside of the playoffs. Four of the worst games over the past two years for the Bucs have come against the Saints, and while the focus for this team will always be on winning a Super Bowl, beating Nola in the regular season and ending that streak would be very nice.

The Saints are currently a sneaky team that many Bucs fans are ruling out while looking through pewter-colored glasses. Winston played well last season, the receiving corps is very good when healthy, the defense is one of the best in the league, and the offensive line is also extremely talented. Team cohesion could make the Saints a playoff team.

Let’s just see if that cohesion can last despite the near-constant fighting stemming from rookie Trevor Penning.

Penning was the most overrated pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. A messy tape filled with penalties was overlooked by the football guys of the NFL world.

Bad blocks that ended with a defender on the ground or a shove were celebrated as heart. The football guys ate up the mean streak that would get under the skin of pass rushers.

This was a terrible way of evaluating the player and the modern game, but the Saints pulled the trigger in the first round either way.

The mistake the Saints made was drafting a guy that is a true character concern that was masked by the old way of looking at the sport. Quiet guys that don’t get penalties can get under the skin of their opponents and be mean until the whistle. Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen toes the line in this regard, but he certainly isn’t fighting with his teammates, and his penalties are much more infrequent.

Penning is a different story. After three fights during camp, the Saints made the decision to send Penning home. How much maturing is really going to happen while home? How does this change when this is his entire persona on the field? Here’s to hoping it doesn’t.

The NFL is changing. Actions like this aren’t needed and only serve to tear teams apart.

The Buccaneers don’t care. Their fight-free practices will carry on. Let’s hope the Saints get exactly what they asked for when they drafted a guy that has a mountain of maturing to do. The Bucs don’t have that to worry about, and their offensive linemen are way better.

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