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Niles Paul Catches A Pass, Into A Backflip

Posted by Brian Tinsman on February 27, 2012 – 3:28 pm

AP Image

While prospective NFL players have gathered in Indianapolis this past week to strut their stuff, NFL veterans have dispersed around the country to take their game to the next level.

Take grizzled, one-year veteran receiver Niles Paul, who showed his physical prowess with impressive special teams play and a pair of acrobatic catches in his rookie season.

Of course, those acrobatic catches pail in comparison to the fantastic athletic ability captured by one of his trainers last week at his offseason home in Nebraska.  This five-yard reception has serious style points (at the :45 mark): Read more »

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Keith Eloi And The Enormous Stuffed Bear

Posted by Matt Terl on August 3, 2009 – 1:27 pm

Keith Eloi
has to know that getting to the NFL is a longshot. Undrafted out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO!), Eloi caught peoples’ attention in two ways. Most visibly by jumping into the back of a truck on YouTube, and most importantly by performing well during his tryout with the Redskins. The former earned him a feature in the Washington Post and an interview on ESPN First Take, and the latter earned him a contract and a chance to compete for a spot on an NFL roster.

Since then, he’s worked out and conditioned himself to improve his chances during training camp, and he’s jumped backwards out of a pool on YouTube. (I asked him about that second video, incidentally, and he assures me that it’s completely real. “I wouldn’t know how to fake it even if I wanted to,” he told me.) And that same combination of on-field work and lively-but-inoffensive off-field antics makes a lot of sense for a guy in Eloi’s position.

There’s a perception in the NFL, rightly or wrongly, that once you pick up the label of “practice squad guy” or “journeyman,” that’s who you are no matter how well you perform. (I’ve talked about this with wide receivers coach Stan Hixon and WR Marques Hagans in the past.) I don’t think it’s overly cynical of me to suspect that Eloi — a charismatic, engaging, smart guy — is aware of this labeling process, and is trying to do more than usual to make himself memorable. Nothing wrong with that.

Anyhow, after each practice during training camp, there’s a vaguely-defined period of time when players make themselves available for interviews. All the media members hustle around just outside the facility doors trying to make sure they intercept the guys they need before they get inside — there’s no open locker room during training camp, and media is not allowed in the building.

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More Jumping With Keith Eloi

Posted by Matt Terl on July 23, 2009 – 11:25 pm

My favorite part of the video that turned rookie WR Keith Eloi into a YouTube sensation — the one where he jumped into the back of a pickup truck — was his buddy at the end yelling “JUMP OUT THE POOL ON THAT!” That challenge was in reference to a previous YouTube phenomenon in which Bears rookie Jarron Gilbert does, in fact, jump out of a pool.

All of that led to something of a friendly rivalry between Eloi and Gilbert, much of which seemed to focus on who could do more impressive feats of leaping and put the video on the internet. Honestly, though, I sort of figured the whole thing would die down as we got closer to training camps and the chance for these guys to impress people in non-internet-video ways.

Shows what I know. Intern Matt received a link to this video late Thursday and forwarded it on to me, and it appears to be Keith Eloi jumping out of the pool, a la Jarron Gilbert … only Eloi is doing it backwards.

Something about the jump looks strange to me, although it’s not like I’ve seen a lot of similar stuff to compare it to, but I figured it was worth posting either way. Per Intern Matt, Eloi says this was shot with a phone, and that he’s done with the stunts after this one. I’ll try to catch up with Eloi for more details soon. Read more »

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Keith Eloi On Footwear, YouTube, Trying To Make The Team

Posted by Matt Terl on June 12, 2009 – 12:33 pm

Two reasons that I hadn’t planned on writing about Keith Eloi‘s now-even-more-famous YouTube truck jump:

1) I had already written about it, however briefly, a month ago, and

2) I didn’t think I had much more to add to what’s already out there, especially considering that Eloi has been discussed on at least three different ESPN shows in the last 48 hours or so. Guy has looked good in practice, jumped into a truck wearing flip-flops, friend amusingly shouts “JUMP OUT THE POOL ON THAT!” What else is there to say?

But yesterday after practice, when he was being interviewed by someone, Eloi talked about how his selection of footwear. Essentially, he wanted to make the jump even more challenging, so he did it, he said, in sandals.

Now, to me, sandals are the sort of strappy, usually leather things with buckles that ill-advised 1950s suburban dads would wear with black dress socks and shorts in cartoons. The things Eloi is wearing in the video … I would consider those a sub-set of flip-flops. Maybe “athletic” flip-flops or something like that.

I wouldn’t have guessed that the taxonomy of open-toed men’s shoes was a subject that would capture my attention, but somehow I found myself asking Eloi about the distinction after the interview was done.

“I think flip-flops are the thong ones,” he said. “If it goes through the toe, to me, it’s a flip-flop. But these are Jordan sandals where they’re strapped around the … the top of the foot, you know? These are Jordan sandals.”

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So Much For Punter Battle 2009

Posted by Matt Terl on May 7, 2009 – 4:39 pm

I mentioned it on the Redskins Blog Twitter feed while I was away from my computer, but the team today cut punter Zac Atterberry and signed wide receiver Keith Eloi from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, thus confirming what we all suspected when Hunter Smith was signed: there should be no punter battle in training camp this year.

Eloi was, in my mind, the standout of the guys who tried out at the past weekend’s minicamp, and he’ll be back for another shot when the next round of OTAs hits in June. Also, he can do a standing high jump into the back of a pickup truck, which is impressive in and of itself. (Video here contains one instance of possible coarse language, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Also, the friend at the end shouting “JUMP OUT THE POOL ON THAT!” is pretty entertaining.) Read more »

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