Niles Paul re-signed with the Redskins this offseason and as he enters his fifth season, the Nebraska product hopes to make his biggest statement yet.
During his first three seasons as a tight end, Niles Paul's main action was on special teams and occasional appearances in certain packages.
Last season, he stepped up when Jordan Reed went down with a hamstring injury Week 1 and proceeded to record 313 receiving yards in the first three games.
Now he's hoping his progression leads to more reps based on his own ability.
"I want [my role] to grow, and I'm doing everything in my power so that it does grow and I get opportunities even with guys healthy," Paul told Redskins.com TV's Larry Michael. "I still want that opportunity to be out there and I know what I can do in this."
The Redskins certainly value the Nebraska product, as they re-signed him during the offseason to a reported three-year deal.
Even after four years, he'll "never" get tired of all the work necessary on the football field.
"I think at this point, I'm in a position where my motivation is my family, my motivation is my future and I want to be a Redskin," he said. "I want to be here and compete every day, and I don't think it will ever get old for me."
Paul in many ways is considered a leader on the team, especially on special teams and even in the tight ends room.
He's often the first tight end to go through individual drills with Wes Phillips and is constantly giving advice to the team's younger players.
"It's important for [the leaders] to kind of step up and show the younger guys and the guys that have been here how we want to set the tempo in practice, how we want the atmosphere to change in our favor around here," Paul said. "It's a lot more competition going out there. I don't know if you can feel it, but we feel it. The atmosphere is completely different, we're having fun out there, we're playing ball and we're competing every day."
Check out images of veteran tight end Niles Paul during the 2015 offseason.
While it remains to be seen where exactly he'll fit into the offense's plans, one area Paul could help in is the red zone, an area in which the team wants to be more efficient in 2015.
"I just think we want to do better in the red zone and be better on first and second down and be better running the ball as well," he said. "I think once we get Alfred [Morris] going and Matt Jones and Silas Redd [Jr.] and whoever they put back there at running back, I think we'll have a very potent offense."
A Difference In Griffin III
Paul is one of the most active Redskins players on social media, as he uses the platforms to interact with the fan base and provide a glimpse of his life away from practices and gamedays.
During the offseason, for example, he posted about being with quarterback Robert Griffin III in Florida for an informal passing camp.
Back home, Paul often hangs out with Griffin III as well and believes the quarterback's approach this year, which is different from years past, will benefit him on the field.
"I think Robert's doing a lot better job of blocking everybody out," Paul said. "In my opinion, I think he paid a lot of attention to what everybody said. I know people say that they try to block it out, but this stuff does have an impact on you. You see stuff, you read stuff, you hear stuff about you and you question your abilities. And I think this year, Robert put in the work in the offseason, he has guys like me and DY [Darrel Young] [who] always got his back. We're always playing around, helping him out, he's helping us out and I just think this is his year."