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Redskins In Richmond — Tight Ends

Posted Jul 17, 2014

With training camp set to begin next week, Redskins.com's Andrew Walker previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team’s tight ends.

With training camp set to begin next week, Redskins.com's Andrew Walker previews the current state of the Redskins' roster, continuing today with the team’s tight ends.

The tight end position has received added attention this offseason due to the contract status of the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham, who has been utilized more like a wide receiver than a tight end during his four-year NFL career.

When it comes to the Washington Redskins, many believe Jordan Reed has the opportunity to become the next great pass catching tight end in the league.

But Reed is just one of four Redskins tight ends that are commonly seen getting in lots of extra work after practice – something that should certainly continue when the team heads to training camp in Richmond, Va., next week.

ROSTER SUBTRACTION(S):
- Fred Davis (free agent)

KEY ADDITION(S):
- Ted Bolser (2014 NFL Draft)

CURRENT STATE OF THE UNIT:
Reed and Graham had eerily similar rookie seasons in the NFL. In 2010, Graham caught 31 passes for 357 yards and five touchdowns, and last season, Reed caught 45 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2014, Reed hopes to take his game to another level – much like Graham did in his second season, when he caught 99 passes for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The former Florida standout appears to top the Redskins' depth chart at tight end heading into the 2014 season, adding his pass-catching and route-running skills to a group of four players that each bring their own flavor to the team.

Back for his fifth year is Logan Paulsen, who is one of the Redskins' top blockers in the running or passing game, but has also improved significantly in other areas of his game the past couple seasons. In 2013, the UCLA product set career highs in receptions (28) and receiving touchdowns (three), and also added a career-best 33-yard reception Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders.

Perhaps the most athletic member of the group, Niles Paul returns for his fourth year with the Redskins in 2014. Paul, a converted receiver from Nebraska, has also been working hard on improving his all-around game, and hopes to become more of a factor in the team's passing attack this season.

And rounding out the group is Ted Bolser, whom the Redskins picked in the seventh round (217th overall) in this year's NFL Draft out of Indiana University, where he exited as the school's all-time tight ends leader with 117 receptions, 1,337 yards and 15 touchdowns in 48 games played. Bolser and the Redskins coaches hope he can develop into a quality red zone target for quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Look for Paulsen, Paul and Bolser to each also be contributors to the Redskins' special teams units this preseason. In 2013, Paul's 16 special teams tackles led the entire squad, while Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Bolser was like a "war daddy" on kickoff coverage during his time at Indiana. 

WHAT TO WATCH:
Wes Phillips was hired in January as the Redskins’ tight ends coach after spending seven seasons in various roles with the Dallas Cowboys.

Paulsen said Phillips – son of longtime NFL coach Wade Phillips – has really been focusing on the tight ends’ footwork in various practice drills – which makes sense, considering he has experience working with offensive linemen with the Cowboys.

Look for the tight ends to be working hard on their blocking and footwork drills in training camp, specifically, as the Redskins lean on this group of players to improve their rushing attack, which has already been a Top 5 unit in the NFL the past couple seasons.

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