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.
“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.
“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.”