Tight end Logan Paulsen said "there's a little bit of optimism" as the offseason gets underway and the slates been wiped clean, but he also understands that there needs to be a lot of work completed during the next few months to right the wrongs that have recently hurt the Redskins.
Individually, Paulsen said he wants to work "everywhere" on his game.
A countdown of the top-10 images of tight end Logan Paulsen during the 2014 season.
"I want to improve on all aspects of my game," he said. "And just continue to work and be the best possible football player that I can be."
Paulsen joined the Redskins in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA. In his first few seasons, Paulsen, who was described by many as a prototypical blocking tight end, learned under players like Chris Cooley while honing his skills.
In 2012, though, Paulsen stepped up for the Redskins, as he recorded 25 receptions for 308 yards and a touchdown.
Then, in 2013, the UCLA product set career-highs in receptions (28) and touchdowns (three) while also starting 14 games.
But, with Jordan Reed getting a full offseason under his belt after a productive rookie season — as well as Niles Paul furthering his game — Paulsen saw his offensive opportunities dip a little bit in 2014.
Regardless, Paulsen said whether he's playing every snap or just a handful, he'll never be truly satisfied unless the season ends with a Lombardi Trophy in his hands.
"We didn't end up where we wanted to end up, but ultimately one team is happy at the end of the year," he said. "And so we're just one of the 31 other teams that are unhappy with our situation."
Takeaways From First Season Under Gruden
As Paulsen put it to the media following the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, he's a "big believer that the player needs to adapt to the coach."
Paulsen said first-year head coach Jay Gruden certainly takes an up-front approach with his players.
"If he's being blunt with you, he's trying to make you better," Paulsen said. "He's being honest and that's something that in this business is often undervalued. People kind of sugar coat things and I appreciate that he tells me what he thinks of me and he says this is what it is, and it gives me an opportunity to improve on those things."
And while the first season under Gruden resulted in four wins, Paulsen thinks that the offensive-minded coach will have the Redskins progressing quickly in 2015.
"I think Coach Gruden's a good coach, and I think he wants to win games," he said. "I think he's got a good system and he's got a great football mind and I think all those things are reasons to believe that we're going to be moving the right direction going into next season."
Open In The Right Place At The Right Time
While Paulsen recorded only one touchdown on the season, a 16-yard connection between quarterback Colt McCoy and he Week 13 vs. Indianapolis, it was one of the best plays of the season for the Redskins.
McCoy, scrambling to his right, appeared to be taken down in the backfield by a gang of Colts players.
The Texas product, however, eluded three different would-be tacklers to find a wide-open Paulsen at the eight-yard line before the tight end dashed into the end zone for the score.
While Paulsen wasn't one of McCoy's first reads, he put himself in position to make a play on a broken play.
"They had both of my first reads covered so I really didn't have anybody open," McCoy said of the Colts' defense. "So I tried to make one guy miss and then one guy became three guys and I knew I couldn't take a sack. The smart play probably would have been to throw it away, but at that point in the game, we needed a touchdown, we needed a spark, something. …We found a way in and I'm happy that Logan scored."
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