Reuniting with former Virginia Tech teammate Darryl Tapp has Macho Harris smiling.
"It feels good to have those Hokie players here. It's like home again," Harris said. "There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to come in here and he's going to perform. I know that for a fact. The fans are going to be pleased by his performance."
A second-round draft pick of Seattle in 2006, Tapp became a starter in 2007 and registered 7 sacks and then followed up with 5 1/2 the next year. Though his sack numbers dropped to 2 1/2 in 2009, he had 18 quarterback hits and was around the ball a lot.
Harris said Tapp is a high-energy, athletic player who gets up the field in the pass-rush game.
"He reminds me of Trent Cole. He's so quick, so explosive," Harris said. "He can play all downs for us."
In recalling their time together at Virginia Tech, Harris termed Tapp a "work-a-holic."
"I saw the dedication and the work ethic," Harris said. "I used to see him work out two and three times a day. We used to work out in the morning at the facility and then he would ride his bike all the way to another gym just to work out there.
"He went from an unknown guy to getting drafted in the second round. That says a lot about his character, his ability and his dedication. He loves the game."
Back then, Tapp offered Harris some advice: "He would tell me, 'You have to go that extra mile to get what you want to get.'"
Of course, Harris' NFL dream was realized some 11 months ago when the Eagles selected him in the fifth round of the NFL draft. A cornerback in college, Harris impressed coaches with his preseason performance and went on to start eight games at free safety as a rookie.
"It was definitely a dream come true," Harris said. "Before I got drafted, I felt like wherever I go, I could start. But when it actually happened, I had to pinch myself."
Harris believes he left some plays on the field last season and his goal now is to put in the extra work so that he can complete those plays next season. He is also ready to challenge again for a starting spot. Entering the spring and summer camps, Harris figures to be in a battle with 2008 fourth-round picks Quintin Demps and free agent Marlin Jackson, whom the team signed in free agency.
"The little things really count at this time," he said.
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 2:06 p.m., March 25