Penn says he's eager, ready to get to work
When the Raiders meet for organized team activities (OTAs) Tuesday, Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker will begin to work for their places on the offensive line.
The two offensive tackles, picked in the first round (Miller) and third round (Parker), are now part of the team’s short- and long-range plans, with Miller a good bet to compete for the starting job at right tackle and Parker possibly earning a job as a swing tackle.
Miller, in fact, may be the Raiders’ future left tackle, a position now held by veteran Donald Penn, who signed an expensive two-year extension before the 2017 season.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden believes Miller’s future is at left tackle, and he’s not ruling out Miller competing for Penn’s job, either. Penn, 35, is coming off a late-season foot injury and surgery, but has said he’ll be good to go for 2018.
“Donald Penn is still on our football team and he’s rehabbing his foot injury,” Gruden told reporters recently. “Donald has been a very good player for the Raiders, a guy that I coached in Tampa, know extremely well, but this has nothing to do with Donald Penn. This is about the future of the Oakland Raiders. We have an outstanding young quarterback, we have a need at the position, and we’re very fortunate to address it, but it doesn’t really say anything to Donald Penn.”
Gruden has called Miller “an outstanding left tackle” who can also play right tackle.
But Penn likely is seeing the drafting of Miller and Parker as a challenge.
On Monday, Penn sent a message to fans on Twitter that he’s ready to get going and reverse the bad spirits that torpedoed the Raiders in 2017, when they fell to 6-10 after being listed as preseason contenders for the AFC title.
“I’ve been working my butt off just wait and watch this comeback #RaiderNation,” he tweeted.