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“Last year if you were watching when I was in, I’m getting off the ball late. I’m unsure. I’m a little tentative. Friday night I was demonstrative, assertive and knew where I was going. It was way more fun that way.”

Physically, Paulsen is working on perfecting his hand placement. A blocker’s goal is to get his hands inside his opponent’s. That is a position of strength.

Chris has a great philosophy,” Paulsen said. “You just stare at his chest and punch him right in the chest and that will get your hands there.”

The two of them will have plenty of opportunities to work on technique during the rest of the preseason while Cooley is sidelined.

“It’s tough not having him out at practice because he sees the game in such a unique way,” Paulsen said. “He’s got eight years of experience. Not having his perspective out here on the field is detrimental, but obviously getting more reps in the offense is important, too.”