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Niles Paul Continues To Make Adjustments

Posted Jul 30, 2014

Redskins tight end Niles Paul has lined up at three different positions and on special teams during his career, and is turning in a strong training camp as one of the team’s leaders.

Throughout his career in Washington, Niles Paul has become one of the most adaptive players on the Redskins’ roster, and in doing so has gained valuable experience.

Technically listed as a tight end, Paul has also lined up at fullback and wide receiver during his time with the Redskins.

Having a player that’s comfortable playing so many positions on offense is somewhat of a rarity in the NFL, and can be a mismatch problem for the opposing defense.

By showing his willingness to adjust his game based on what the team needs, it’s no surprise that Paul’s ready to step into another new role – this time, he’s being called upon as a leader.

“It’s a different feeling,” Paul said. “I’m used to being the young guy, and now I step into this role as a leader on special teams and a leader in one of the tight end groups. All I can do is try to lead by example.”

There’s solid competition at the tight end position this year. The Redskins have four other tight ends currently on the roster as head coach Jay Gruden and staff continue their theme of adding healthy competition at every position on the team.

Paul is known as a player that will do whatever it takes to help the team win. Right now, part of that determination will include enhancing his skills individually.

“Just being more aggressive in my routes, having more aggressive hands, being a better blocker, being a better pass blocker,” Paul said. “Just being an all-around better tight end.”

Washington struggled last year in special teams, which has been a point of emphasis for first-year head coach Gruden and his new special teams coach, Ben Kotwica.

Last year, Paul saw more kickoff returns than anyone on the roster. This year, Paul said he hopes to continue improving his multi-dimensional efficiency while contributing again on special teams as he has in seasons past.

“I’m loving this special teams unit right now,” Paul said. “You see a whole bunch of guys running around trying to make plays, playing off each other. Even if it’s just in walkthrough. There’s a bunch of guys just trying to make plays and that’s what you want from your special teams unit.”

With training camp officially in full-throttle mode, Paul has had the opportunity to showcase his physical style of play, which was highlighted on Monday with the team’s first fully-padded practice of the year.

“It’s amazing man, I had to go full pads,” he said. “It’s been a while, but it’s good to get that feel for the game again.”

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