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Niles Paul is Focused on Becoming a Better Blocker

Niles Paul is Focused on Becoming a Better Blocker

Niles Paul is Focused on Becoming a Better Blocker

Going into this offseason Niles Paul knew there was a major factor limiting his progress at tight end. That factor was his effectiveness as an inline blocker for the Redskins. Paul figured the easiest way to help his situation was to gain weight.

So far this offseason, the former wide receiver from Nebraska has gained 14 pounds.

“I know an area I wanted to improve on a lot was blocking. I was always a willing blocker, but I was 230-pounds going against guys who were 260, 270, 280,” said Paul. “I just wanted to level out the playing field a little bit. And it has showed up on film out here [in OTAs]. I’ve been doing a good job.”

Paul says the weight-gain has had little to no impact on his speed.

“I may not be 230-pounds-fast like I was. But I’m still fast enough where I have an advantage. I was a little nervous that I was a little too heavy. But I’m moving better than I ever have.”

Even though Paul says he’s changed how he eats this offseason, he gives most of the credit to his new workout routine.

“I got to give credit to Coach [Mike] Clark and Chef Jon [Mathieson],” Paul said, referring to the team’s new strength and conditioning coach and the Redskins’ executive chef. “I’ve just been eating a lot of protein and working out.

“We’re doing a lot of different lifts as compared to [former strength coach Ray Wright]. I loved Ray Wright. I loved his workouts. But we’ve got a different coach now who believes in different stuff. We’re doing a lot of Olympic lifts.”

Paul has consistently helped on special teams since his rookie season but saw his role increased at the tight end spot the last two season after Jordan Reed battled injuries. In OTAs this past spring Paul participated with the Redskins first team offense as Reed was once again out, nursing a injury.

While we’ll have to wait until the season comes to see just how much the extra weight will help Paul, one thing is for certain. The extra strength he’s gained this offseason certainly won’t hurt his situation.

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