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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 72 is Donald Penn, who wore it best?

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There are a lot of strong choices for best to wear number 72 in Silver & Black. Including the man wearing it right now.

Happy Friday, everyone. While we await official word on Gabe Jackson’s big extension, we look at the veteran presence who mentored Jackson from the left tackle spot. That’s because we are 72 days from the start of the Raiders 2017 season and he wears that number.

LT Donald Penn

Entering his fourth and perhaps final season with the Raiders, Donald Penn has had a triumphant resurgence for his childhood team. The 10-year veteran left tackle joined the Raiders in 2014 offseason after being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he spent the first seven years of his career.

The former Pro Bowler returned to form in Oakland at the age of 31, starting every game the past three seasons at left tackle and returning to the Pro Bowl last season.

Last season, he gave up just one sack in 16 starts. Though, as he noted this week, that one sack was a big one. It was the sack that injured Derek Carr and cost the Raiders a chance at the division and a deep playoff run. Penn himself then missed the first game of his career when the team faced the Texans in the Wild Card playoff game. A game which Menelik Watson was outmatched by Jadeveon Clowney.

Penn now enters his 11th NFL season and the final year of a 2-year deal he signed last offseason. He will be 35 this time next year, so his future will be uncertain in Silver & Black. But this is about now and he will once again anchor the Raiders offensive line and protect Derek Carr’s blindside as the Raiders once again try to mount a push to the Super Bowl.

Who wore it best: John Matuszak (1976-81)

After three years in Houston and Kansas City, ‘Tooz’ came to Oakland where he spent the final six years of his NFL career. He fit right in with the Raiders’ band of eccentric personalities. And in his first season in Oakland, they won the Super Bowl.

Tooz and Ted Hendricks were a pass rushing force for the Raiders in the Super Bowl. And after the game, it was those two who propped John Madden on their shoulders and carried him off the field for the legendary coach’s lone Super Bowl title.

Four years later, the Raiders were back in the Super Bowl with Tooz still a starting defensive end, helping the Raiders go from Wild Card to Super Bowl champion. A year later, Tooz would retire from football at the age of 31, just before the team left for Los Angeles.

Even before his career was over, Tooz was already acting in movies. It all started in 1979 with a major role in the film North Dallas Forty. From there his career in film took off. After retirement, he starred in Caveman (1981), The Ice Pirates (1984), One Crazy Summer (1986) and of course as ‘Sloth’ in Goonies (Hey you guuuuyyyys!).

Not eight years after his NFL career was over, at the age of 38, Matuszak died of heart failure.

Other strong choices:

C Don Mosebar (1983-94)

A first round by the Raiders in 1983 got his Super Bowl ring as a rookie. He took over for longtime center Dave Dalby two years later becoming just the third starting center in franchise history. He locked down the position for the next decade, making three Pro Bowls in that time.

His career ended when during training camp in 1995, he suffered a serious eye injury that would ultimately require his left eye be removed.

OT Lincoln Kennedy (1996-2003)

Much like Penn, Kennedy was claimed off the scrap heap. The former 9th overall pick was released by the Falcons after just three seasons. The Raiders picked him up and made him the starting right tackle where he stayed for 8 years, making three Pro Bowls and one All Pro. He was the starting right tackle for the Raiders Super Bowl XXXVII team, retiring a year later.


Who do you think wore the number 72 best?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    John Matuszak
    (262 votes)
  • 20%
    Don Mosebar
    (103 votes)
  • 27%
    Lincoln Kennedy
    (135 votes)
500 votes total Vote Now