Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6'2" Weight: 300 lbs
College: Oregon State
Drafted: Second Round Pick 53rd Overall
Stephen Paea was another free agent that the Washington Redskins picked up in the offseason and someone who could help this team wreak havoc defensively. Here's what Redskins fans should know about him:
#1. Stephen Paea is from Ephraim, Utah and was a three star junior college recruit in the class of 2008. According to 247sports Composite, He was the No. 13 defensive tackle and the No. 2 player in Utah. He had offers from Brigham Young University and Utah but chose to play his college football at Oregon State.
#2. In his first season at Oregon State (2008), he registered 41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and five sacks in 13 games. He was named to the College Football News Sophomore Second Team and earned a PAC-10 honorable mention. As a junior (2009), he had 43 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and three sacks. He was also honored with the Pac-10's Morris Trophy, given annually to the league's top defensive lineman as voted on by the league's offensive linemen. He was named on the Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List and was an All-Pac-10 First Team selection.
In his last year with the Beavers (2010), he had his best season yet accumulating these numbers: 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks, and four forced fumbles. Paea earned the Pac-10 Conference's Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award - the second Beaver to capture the award (Bill Swancutt, 2004) and Pac-10 First Team honors for the second straight year.
He also earned Associated Press First Team All-American honors, first by a Beaver defensive lineman since Jess Lewis in 1967. Paea won the Morris Trophy for the second straight year - an honor awarded to league's top defensive lineman as voted on by the conference's offensive lineman. He was also named a First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated and Sporting News; a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award as well.
#3. He was drafted by Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft and spent four seasons with the team. He only started all 16 games in one season (2014) and had 33 tackles and six sacks that year.
#4. Now Paea is with the Redskins. According to Stephen Czarda of Redskins.com, Paea believes that while training is important, recovery and rest is even more important:
"You don’t have that much time to rest throughout the year because when April starts and you go to OTAs and minicamp and all that, you don’t have much time to rest," Paea said in March. "It’s how fast your body can recover. I think that’s the most important thing for an athlete because you can train your body as many times as you can, but recover to be able to train hard again, that is the most important thing."
Paea also believes that what a player does in the weight room applies to what happens on the field:
"If you don’t have the right skills and the right fundamentals as far as being a football player, because obviously you’re trying to help get to the ball carrier – running back or ball carrier – you won’t beat your blocker," Paea said of weight room work. "That’s what you have with [strength and conditioning] Coach [Mike] Clark down there helping us a lot with pass rush. The stuff that we’re doing in the weight room…it applies on the field."
#5. Paea is already bringing an attack mode mentality to the defense:
Bottom Line: Paea seems like a guy that goes full speed on every play which is what the Washington Redskins defensive line and defense in general needs.