Niles Paul is ready to make an impact for the Washington Redskins in 2016.
The 26-year-old tight end, who is currently listed at 242 pounds, says he’s in the best shape of his life after spending the last year rehabbing a broken ankle.
“So hungry, man. I just can’t wait. I feel like a different person out there now,” Paul said. “I still feel like myself, Niles, but I feel it’s just a more intense version after I took that loss, and now, I appreciate being out there with my boys. It was a real depressing time for me, and I had people in my corner to help me get through, but it was still hard. Now, I’m out here with my boys, and Larry Hess and [the other trainers] are trying to protect me from myself, but they can’t. They just can’t.”
2015 was supposed to be the year Niles broke-out. His coaches and fellow teammates could all feel things working towards that but Paul would go down early, in the preseason opener, and would be lost the entire season. In the aftermath of his injury, Jordan Reed was able to step up, and into a star role in DC. One that saw Reed get paid well in the process, just a few weeks back.
Niles is back this year with an intensity never seen before, “I’m back even better and ready to do what I’ve got to do. … Weight-room wise, I’m stronger. Football-wise, I’m smarter, because I couldn’t do anything but watch football for a year. You take those little things for granted when you just play football. But now, I’m able to take on other positions and just ready to get out there.”
Some of the duties Paul will be called on to perform could include third-string tight end and fullback. Paul seems content to be in either role, “The fullback nothing but an extension of the tight end anyway,” he said. “I’m a jack of all trades. We were just arguing about it out there, and you can’t label me with one thing. I can play receiver, I can play fullback, I can play tight end. I can play wherever you put me at. I’m a real Swiss Army knife out here.”