Niles Paul received some sage advice from Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe when they two talked earlier this week.He said this is one of two steps. The next one of out the door, said Paul. Theyre trying to find you a home, he said. Coach Shanahan believes in you enough to find you a home.The home they are trying to find him is at tight end. After a rookie season spent at wide receiver, Mike Shanahan decided to move Paul to tight end this spring.A lot of those guys that can run, can catch and have that speed arent very good blockers, said Shanahan. I think hell be able to do both.He hopes to be able to exploit Pauls speed (4.5 in the 40) to create some mismatches in the secondary.Paul has added about 10 pounds and says that hes maintaining his weight at 234. Thats on the light side in a league where most tight ends are in the 250-pound range.Im fine at 234, said Paul. Shannon Sharpe told me he did it at 228. Im not saying Im Shannon Sharpe but it gives me hope.Shanahan said that Paul has maintained his speed despite the weight gain.Sharpe earned his Canton bust playing for Shanahan in Denver and the coach thought it would be a good idea to have him come in and talk to Paul about playing tight end at a lighter weight.Paul got some practical advice from Sharpe as well as reality check noted above.Sharpe told me when I was talking to him, that Im a smaller guy and Im not going to win every battle and my role is to protect the running back and the QB, he said. As long as Im doing my job, thats all that matters.The move to tight end is a step up both in terms of physical demands and playbook knowledge.With the receiver part, its the exact same thing as if I lined up at Z (wide receiver), he said. When it comes to running Ive got to pick up on combo blocks, Ive got to read the defense a lot better than I had to at receiver.During the OTAs that the media has been able to see, it looks like Paul is doing well with the receiver portion of the job. We wont know much about his blocking ability until the pads go on and full contact is allowed when training camp starts late next month. But Shanahan thinks its so far, so good for Paul in the blocking department.Hes done a good job getting in his stance and simulating as many blocking techniques as a tight end can do without pads on, Shanahan said. Hes done well in almost every area.As long as Paul can do well enough to keep from going out of that door, hell be happy.
Bryan Stork's tenure with the Washington Redskins got off to a rocky start. Soon after he was traded to Washington from the New England Patriots, Stork had what can only be called an emotional reaction as he reportedly pondered retirement.
Now it seems he may have had a change of heart.
New #Redskins center Bryan Stork is expected to be in town and ready to go this weekend, source said. Would shut down retirement talk.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2016
Stork would not be coming to Washington simply to inform the Redskins he was retiring so it appears as if disaster has been avoided.
More on this to come.
The Redskins are heading in to their third preseason game and next Tuesday the bubble will burst for about a dozen players as they cut their roster down to 75. Then on September 3, just nine days from today, the roster will be cut to 53.
Many of the roster spots are set but there are enough jobs up for grabs to make the last two practice games interesting. One important thing to keep in mind is that Jay Gruden said last week that preseason games matter a lot when it comes to trimming the roster to 53. With two games in the books we have a lot of evidence to work with.
Redskins blogger Rich Tandler sorts out the bubble and gives you what he thinks the roster will look like when the make the final cut to 53.
Thursday the Redskins will take their show on the road, as the team will do their walk-through before the Bills game in front of military personnel at Joint Base Andrews. With Wednesday's whirlwind pursuit of Bryan Stork still somewhat fluid, there will be plenty to watch.
- Stork reactions - Players will likely speak sparingly Thursday following their walk-through session but the big question will be about the the former Patriots center. Where does he fit and how do the current players fit in with Stork will dominate the discussion.
- Getting specific - So what happens now at the center position? Is Stork a move for depth or to compete with Kory Lichtensteiger as the starting center? What does this mean for Spencer Long, or even more, Josh LeRibeus?
- Focus on the game - Despite all the noise surrounding the Stork trade, Washington has a game to play Friday night. A preseason game, yes, but the third preseason game where expectations are starters will play the first half. This is the most important - and for some only - live action before Week 1 against the Steelers. The Skins need to be ready.
Stay tuned all day for updates from @JPFinlayCSN.