Donald Penn spoke to the media today during Bucs OTAs. Can anyone guess what he answered questions on?
You got it, the “weight issue.”
What was once a well written, opinionated article by Mark Cook on PewterReport.com — titled “Five Bucs That May Be On The 2013 Hot Seat” — was quickly turned into a national spectacle after several outlets picked it up. Which of course resulted in a profanity laced rant on Twitter by Penn himself.
So it’s only natural that the fine media folks at One Buc Place asked Penn about his feelings on the report. Here was his response:
I just hope it’s not going to be a trend. Last offseason, [Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer] Rick Stroud came out with something – some true, a lot of it false. It seems like this year it came again – some more false stuff. It’s like … I don’t do anything to anybody. I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, and it seems like people are trying to attack me. I’m going to be bigger and better than that. I shouldn’t have reacted like that [on Twitter]. I wish I could take it back, but I’ve been working hard this year and I’ve been working hard this offseason.
But that was not the only response issued today. PewterReport.com’s publisher Scott Reynolds also issued a response to the attention they have received:
In no way did PewterReport.com intend to personally attack Penn about his weight in reporting that he had missed prior weight clauses in the former Pro Bowl left tackle’s contract. The error that was made – and the mistake that PewterReport.com regrets – was not reporting that he in fact did meet his targeted weight in 2012.
Reynolds would also go on and reiterate in his article that Cook’s words on Sunday were not just about his weight but also about praising his play. Something that obviously was overlooked by outlets that picked up the report.
While Reynolds and Pewter Report issued a response that is commendable, it may not have been needed. The original article was updated, noting the mistake. And on 98.7 The Fan, Cook acknowledged the mistake on-air with host Justin Pawlowski.
Also, another report surfaced Monday adding to Penn’s “weight issue” that talked about the offensive lineman coming into this offseason outside of his required weight range. That should validate the initial report regarding the weight issue one would think. However, that didn’t get anywhere near the attention the report from Sunday got.
It’s fair to say an error was made. Both sides have addressed it so everyone should just move on. But what should be questioned is how a huge story can be made out of 46 words while ignoring the other 1,400 in the same article. Maybe that’s the bigger problem.