Perhaps Niles Paul had an inclination over the past few months he was going to be making a transition from wide receiver to tight end.
Going into his 2011 rookie season with the Redskins, Paul stood at 6-foot-1 and weighed 220 pounds.
As the regular season progressed and transitioned into the offseason, however, Paul’s weight slowly began creeping up, he told ESPN980′s The Sports Reporters on Wednesday.
“In the offseason, I got up to 232 before they even called me and told me that they wanted me to play tight end,” Paul said.
That was when Paul said he received a call from Redskins’ head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright, who, unbeknownst to Paul, was going to ask him about switching to tight end — a position that would require Paul to bulk up.
Wright asked Paul how much he weighed — and Paul said he gave his coach the answer he thought he wanted to hear.
“I told him, ‘Umm, 225,’” he said.
Gaining weight for any player in the offseason isn’t unusual. They can usually get back to their comfortable playing weight by utilizing any sort of conditioning program. But Paul said he was relieved to hear Wright tell him about the coaches’ plans for him in 2012.
“I said, ‘Perfect. Perfect,’” Paul told ESPN980.
Despite Paul’s transition from receiver to tight end, he said there’s still a chance he’ll be utilized on special teams as a returner this season. He’s already considered a special teams monster who excelled last season as a gunner and as an off-returner.
Perhaps that athleticism comes from Paul’s time as a standout track athlete at North High School in Nebraska, where in 2006 he led his team to the Class A state track title by winning four gold medals.
Paul said he oftentimes found himself competing in track nationally with another Redskins teammate: Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“Me and RGIII – I call him Robert, I don’t call him RGIII, I call him Robert — me and Robert talked about running summer track, and every year we were in the same age group, and he ran AAU hurdles and I ran USA, and his times were always faster than mine,” Paul said. “He’s a blazer, though.”
Paul — who said he hopes to maintain his weight around 234 pounds by the time the team returns for training camp in late July — said he still plans on training during the next few weeks off from the facility.
“I like the shape I’m in now,” he said. “And I want to maintain — if not get stronger.”
Tags: Niles Paul, Robert Griffin III, special teams, Tight Ends, washington redskins
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