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Stephen Paea Displaying Strength, Quickness

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Considered the strongest player on the Redskins' roster, Stephen Paea has also been showcasing his quickness early in his first training camp with the team.

Stephen Paea remembers when all his work with Joe Kim clicked, and it didn't come right away.

The former Chicago Bear, who was signed by the Redskins this offseason, had the strength as evident by his record-breaking NFL Combine showing in 2011.

What Kim, now the Redskins' assistant strength and conditioning coach, helped with was getting Paea better suited in getting through offensive lines with his hand placement.

Paea said it took a while Kim's hand drills to click for him last season, and tells the same story to some of his "frustrated" teammates along the defensive line.

"I told them that didn't hit me until game two in the season," Paea said. "I'm talking about game two in like September, October. It didn't hit me until then. Now it's only like August, so these guys have to keep doing this, because what you guys want to do is get reps, and obviously they listen."

Paea said he can vouch for Kim's influence.

"He knows his stuff, but I'm starting to get back into it [during training camp] so it felt good, trying to do my thing, trying to show them that it's still working," he said.

The Oregon State product comes to the Redskins fresh off a career season in which he recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks at the defensive tackle position.

While Paea will probably still see action in the interior, he's been working mostly at defensive end with the Redskins during training camp.

He admitted one of the main reasons he signed in Washington was the opportunity for isolated matchups on the outside.

During the offseason, he made sure to get his body right for the workload.

Check out images of veteran defensive end Stephen Paea during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.

"I dropped some weight, ten pounds less than Chicago," he said. "I feel like our defense is all about getting off the ball, and strike the O-line. With my weight, if I get off the ball, it only needs two seconds to go through those double teams. If I play it strong our linebackers can come up and take the double team and make it work."

Paea said an effective pass rush is becoming increasingly critical as NFL offenses become more and more pass happy.

"You've got to get edges, you've got to get around the O-line," he said. "So that's my biggest goal, coming in here with all the 1-on-1s, I've got to beat him. If I beat him 60, 70 percent out of 100 that's a big plus for us, because all you need is that one big play, sack, fumble, that's all you need to change the game."

Don't worry, though, head coach Jay Gruden believes Paea is still "our strongest player."

"He is very good in the weight room. He and [head strength and conditioning coach] Mike Clark go back there -- were together in Chicago -- and exceptional in the weight room," Gruden said. "And it carries over on the field. He's got great work ethic and he plays very hard. So to add him in the mix as a rotational guy with [Jason] Hatcher and Terrance [Knighton] and [Chris] Baker and [Kedric] Golston and all those guys – and Ricky Jean [Francois] – should give us a lot of depth and should keep us fresh." 

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