Paul Returns In All Facets Of The Game

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For NFL rookies, special teams may be their first and only opportunity to make it in professional football.  Playing special teams requires a different breed of player; one who is willing to run full-sprint at the opposing team in the ultimate game of Red Rover.

Yesterday, the Redskins sent Niles Paul as their Red Rover. Let’s just say, he came on over:

Most wide receivers are accustomed to dodging big hits, but Paul is developing a reputation for delivering them.  But for the former Husker, this is all in the realm of familiar.

“Y’know, I come from Nebraska,” he said.  “You can ask Roy–I have no problem with going out and blocking.  I have no problem going out there and tackling.  I played safety in high school, and was actually recruited to Nebraska as a defensive back.”

“I did get some satisfaction out of jarring that ball loose out there,” he admitted with a smile.  “As I was running down the field, I could see him bobbling it, and all I knew was: I’m gonna hit this dude.  And I’m gonna hit him hard enough to jar the ball loose, and hopefully somebody will recover it.”

As it worked out, linebacker Perry Riley was knocked into the air and landed on the football.  The Redskins converted the turnover for three points and only their second home halftime lead of the season.

The best part of Paul’s Sunday was the simple satisfaction of being back on the field.  After being taken out of the lineup in the 49ers game with a turf toe injury, and said he didn’t know what to expect from yesterday’s game.

“I had been limited all week, and coach Shanahan was looking out for me and didn’t wanna put too much pressure on me,” he explained.  “But as the game went on, they let me gradually fill back into my role.”

‘Not much pressure’ amounted to an opportunity for a one-handed touchdown grab on the opening drive.  One play before Helu punched it in, Paul was targeted in the end zone, but couldn’t quite hold on for the score.  On the very next play, Paul sealed off the backside of the offensive line on Helu’s touchdown run.

The team has older receivers and more experienced receivers, but turned to Paul in a role that he has excelled at and embraced.

“All I worry about it what I can control, and what I’m allowed to do,” he said.  “I go out there whenever they ask me to and I just play it as hard as I can.

“I’m gonna do whatever I can to be on this team.”

After his play against the Jets, I think they’ll be able to find him a spot.

0 thoughts on “Paul Returns In All Facets Of The Game

  1. Time to give the newbies who haven’t gotten big minutes like HURT extended PT to see what they’ve got., Guys like PAUL and NEILD


  2. He didn’t really do anything to force the fumble… it was already well gone by the time he got to the returner. What he did do, however, is completely nail the guy’s blocker, and prevent the returner from recovering the ball.

    That was a NASTY hit on the blocker.


  3. A question for TRENT:

    isn’t the next time you’re caught in a drug-test, a life-time ban?

    Please tell me you’re going to give this up. It has a very bad end if you don’t.


  4. Yeah, good work there. I liked the stick Barnes put on Sanchez, Back in the day that would have made a highlight but since things have gone soft there he doesn’t get any respect. …….Damn shame….I hope to see more of that on Brady only bring it a little sooner and get that sholder around there some. Most of ST looked good except for the short fields given. …..Still a couple more games left to work on those things before we put this season to bed.


  5. The sack by sanchez called for Unnecessary roughness was a disgraceful call. Sanchez clearly ducked his head into the path of a previously solid hit. The refs must use their judgement and only call that on flagrant hits… Barnes was far from flagrant.


  6. I know the season is all but over for us and ended as another in a long string of disappointing seasons, but I feel pretty good going into next year because it looks like we actually know what to do with the draft and free agency now. We did an excellent job in the draft last year – Kerrigan, Jenkins, Helu, Paul, Nield. I’m confident that Hankerson will eventually join that list, but he’ll have to prove it next season given the amount of time he has missed. When you look at our front seven this season compared to last season, it’s just an overwhelming improvement. Bowen and Cofield were excellent additions and Carriker has stepped up as well. If Jenkins returns to his preseason form next year, that line is going to be a menace. At LB, the ageless wonder continues to dominate the middle and I’m consistently impressed with Perry Riley too. We have top tier pass rushing LBs. Lorenzo Alexander is just a beast that makes the team better in almost any position he plays in. The guy just flies to the ball. I think Helu has shown that he and Hightower will be a nice 1-2 punch in the ground game. Darrel Young is a very capable FB. Lichtensteiger was playing very well before the injury. Brown has picked his game up and proved to be a nice bookend with Williams. If Fred Davis and Trent Williams will wake up and put the weed down until they retire, we should have enough pieces in place that another strong offseason will the pieces we need to really compete with our division rivals.

    Which leads me to the big question for all of you: What positions (in order of importance) need to be addressed in the offseason. What players do you feel fit the bill. Which players do you think we nee to cut ties with and why?


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