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Niles Paul Was Asked To Play Safety Before Switching To Tight End

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In March 2012, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan called up Niles Paul and asked him to switch to tight end for the upcoming season. The fifth-round wide receiver out of Nebraska had filled in at the position for the final three games of his rookie season, but didn't have to handle all of the responsibilities that tight end required.

This would be a big change -- bulking up, blocking, learning pass and run formations – but Paul, as he made known on Twitter Thursday while repping his hometown in Nebraska, admitted that he could have had an even bigger change.

@Niles_Paul84 proud of you man, always knew you had the ability when you were at NU, just had to have the pieces fall into place — HuskerGuy (@thehuskerguy) February 18, 2016

@Niles_Paul84 that said, I always thought you'd be a beast strong safety back then haha — HuskerGuy (@thehuskerguy) February 18, 2016

So Paul passed and he was better for it. Shanahan's reasoning was sound, though, considering Paul was, and still is, a major help on special teams. Plus, it wouldn't be hard to imagine Paul playing alongside Reed Doughty, DeJon Gomes and Madieu Williams.

That year, in 2012, Paul caught eight passes for 152 yards and a touchdown and would later have a career year in 2014, hauling in 39 passes for 507 yards and a touchdown.

After losing 2015 to a broken and dislocated ankle, Paul continues to work at Redskins Park to get stronger and bulk back up to his normal weight, a similar process to when he bulked up after switching to tight end. 

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