Saints Training Camp: Throwing punches won’t help Trevor Penning win the LT job

Trevor Penning, New Orleans Saints - Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Penning, New Orleans Saints - Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Trevor Penning has always had a bit of a nasty streak, and the team found out just how nasty he could be in 2022 training camp.

The rookie and defensive tackle Malcolm Roach were both kicked out of practice on Wednesday, marking Penning’s third consecutive incident in camp. NOLA likely selected Penning in the draft in part due to his competitive feistiness, but Penning may have crossed the line this week having antagonized several Saints’ defenders.

On Monday, Penning fought with defensive end Payton Turner, and the two briefly exchanged punches before being broken up.

On Tuesday, Penning was shoved by safety J.T. Gray after a block, and Penning was ready to throw hands if not for a teammate who held him back.

Penning’s on-field skirmishes have made him out to be the villain of training camp, but his behavior shouldn’t necessarily worry NOLA right now. The Saints knew exactly what they were getting themselves into.

Head coach Dennis Allen said of the situation:

"“We don’t have time for that. I sent two guys in today and we’ve got to get our work done. We’ve got to learn as a team how to compete and how to play and how to practice and push ourselves to the limit but yet not take it over the edge.”"

Saints’ Trevor Penning is going on a nasty rampage in 2022 training camp

Penning’s actions have so far divided fans on Twitter — some love his attitude while others believe he needs to take it down a notch.

If anything, Penning’s over-the-top aggressiveness is only hurting his own chances for winning a starting left tackle spot. Veteran James Hurst had a slight advantage prior to camp, but now Hurst has that job all but locked down, leaving Penning to display his violent antics on the sidelines.

It didn’t take long for Penning to develop a notorious reputation in NOLA, and a few more months of development should help finetune his pass-protection skills and teach him how to cool his temper.

The Saints’ O-line enters 2022 in arguably worse shape than last season, and the last thing the team needs is for Penning to get baited into fights on the field or draw reckless penalties.

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No one’s complaining about Penning’s nasty streak…yet. If Penning’s attitude starts costing the Saints’ offense crucial yardage in the regular season, he could turn into more of a hot-headed liability than a starting-caliber franchise tackle.