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Paea Wants To Be 'Living In The Backfield'

New Redskins defensive lineman Stephen Paea tells "Redskins Nation" host Larry Michael that he's hoping to showcase his quickness and strength in Washington's 3-4 defensive scheme.

In 2014 – despite consistently drawing double teams as a defensive tackle – Stephen Paea was one of the best interior linemen in the National Football League at getting to the quarterback.

Now, as the Washington Redskins' newest member of the defensive line, Paea says he hopes his transition to more of a defensive end in the team's 3-4 scheme will take his game to even another level.

Paea on Wednesday was in Loudoun County, Va., to sign his contract with the Redskins, and told "Redskins Nation" host Larry Michael that he can't wait to "do damage to the offense" for the Redskins faithful.

"The past four years I've been put as a nose tackle, and I can't tell you how sick and tired I get getting double-teamed," Paea said. "Going in, I want to be able to use my God-given talent, my ability to use my quickness and my strength."

According to Pro Football Focus stats, Paea's 47 quarterback pressures in 2014 was the third most in the league among defensive tackles and nose tackles. He would finish his fourth and final season with the Chicago Bears with a career-best six sacks and two forced fumbles.

With the Redskins, Paea said he anticipates drawing many more one-on-one matchups, with Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Hatcher on the other side of the line, as well as a potent pass rush outside from the likes of Ryan Kerrigan, who had a career-best 13.5 sacks last season.

"I want to get the matchups one-on-one, and that's one thing [why] I chose the Washington Redskins," said Paea, 26. "Hopefully bringing me in here I get some one-on-ones on first and second down, not only on third down."

Paea – who stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs a solid 300 pounds – got on the national radar in 2011, when he set the NFL Scouting Combine record by bench pressing 225 pounds 49 times. But the Oregon State product said he's strived to make sure he's known more for his endeavors on the field – and let his legend in the weight room stay right there.

"Most people would excel in the weight room and that's it," he said. "They don't excel on the field, and I'm blessed enough to have the quickness and the strength to be able to showcase that in my last year of my career and still at nose tackle getting double-teamed."

An Aukland, New Zealand, native, Paea didn’t even arrive in America until he was 16. He said his disciplined upbringing made him who he is today.

"It's about being on-time, being respectful to elders, coaches, you name it," he said. "That's who I am today."

Now, Paea applies that same disciplined approach to his role as a disruptive force along the Redskins' defensive line.

"Living in the backfield is what my job is going to be," he said. "It would not only affect the running game, passing game, any offense run, [but] if you have a penetrating defensive tackle getting into the backfield on pass and run, that would do damage to the offense."


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