Why the Saints giving Trevor Penning an opportunity at right tackle is a smart move

The New Orleans Saints are giving third-year offensive lineman Trevor Penning a chance at right tackle. Here is why it could be a smart move.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints are employing different strategies in order to try to give former first-round tackle, Trevor Penning, a fresh start. Although they drafted Taliese Fuaga in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, who was a right tackle in college, Trevor Penning is getting first team snaps at right tackle in OTAs, while Taliese Fuaga is playing at left tackle. There are a couple of trains of thought on why the team is doing this. 

Most notably, the Saints are giving Trevor Penning a fresh start. It doesn’t take an expert to see that Penning has struggled at left tackle. Giving him this opportunity allows him to see something new and reset everything. John Benton, who the Saints just hired as their offensive line coach, was reported to have a plan to move Penning to right tackle regardless of their first round pick.

When asked about why he moved him over Benton stated “We just really felt like Trevor, from his experience and whatnot, needed a fresh start. I really am of the belief there’s not that much difference between right and left tackle”.  It is unclear if the Saints intend to continue to play Penning at right tackle throughout the season but Benton believes that he would be able to make the transition if needed too.

Another thing that the Saints could be doing is cross-training Penning at a different position. This could give him some versatility while gaining experience on the field. The Saints have a history with doing this; most recently with Landon Young. This would allow Penning to have the ability to stay on the field, even if it isn’t at left tackle. 

Although Penning hasn’t stepped a foot on the field yet this year, the coaching staff is high on him. Giving him this fresh start at right tackle, even if it isn’t for the whole season, is a smart move that could revitalize Penning’s career.