Darryl Tapp will always be thankful to Seattle for giving him his start in the NFL. But after being dealt in a trade Tuesday evening, Tapp is ready to write a new chapter in his NFL career.
Tapp started 31 games the past three seasons and played in all 64 games since joining Seattle as a second-round draft choice in 2006. He has 18 sacks among his 177 career tackles, as well as eight forced fumbles. He had career highs in tackles (55) in 2008 and sacks (seven) in 2007.
At times, however, Tapp admits he was frustrated as the Seahawks went through turnover with the coaching staff and a change in defensive schemes.
"That's part of the game," Tapp said in a conference call. "I'm ready to shake it off and get a brand new start. I'm excited to be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm going to come in there and work my tail off."
Tapp describes himself as an "athletic end" who is "a lot stronger and a lot of quicker than people seem to think I am."
"I'm a high-effort guy. That's the way we were trained at Virginia Tech," he said.
In college he also learned the importance of being versatile. That said, Tapp is comfortable playing either side. More importantly, he sees himself as an every-down defensive end and not simply a pass-rushing specialist.
"I'm an every-down defensive end," Tapp said. "Rushing the passer is fun, but you don't get the opportunity until you stop the run and that's something I pride myself on."
Read below for transcript of conference call, or click here for multimedia clip:
On his reaction being traded to the Eagles and how he sees himself fitting in: "I'm excited to be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm in shock because Seattle is the team that gave me an opportunity out of college and I called it home for the last four years. I'm anxious already about the opportunity in Philly. I'm coming there to work my tail off and help us get a step closer to the ultimate goal."
On having any idea that he was going to be traded after signing his RFA tender yesterday: "I had heard, but it wasn't anything concrete. After I signed my tender, I was ready to come in and work. Like I said, it just started taking form the last few days and this is a good opportunity for me."
On what happened the past couple years in Seattle in regards to his sack numbers dropping: "It's been a lot of turnover. I came in fresh out of college, [Seahawks head] coach [Mike] Holmgren had a staff assembled that really knew how to [teach] the game and did things to put their guys in position. Then we had two years, these past two years, so it's just been a lot of turnover from a coaching standpoint. Like I said, that's a part of the game. Shake it off and get a brand new start."
On the type of player that he is: "I'm athletic, I think I'm an athletic end. I'm a lot stronger and a lot quicker than people seem to think I am. I'm an [all out] type of guy; I'm a high-effort guy. That's how we were trained at Virginia Tech and I kept that going in Seattle. I'm ready to bring that to the table."
On how frustrating it was in Seattle with all the turnover: "For me, personally, it was tough because I have never been in a situation like that where I lost games. Even back to high school, I have never been in a situation where I had a solid coaching staff and I lost as many games as I had. It's definitely been a learning experience the last few years. Even preparing for this year, it will be a whole new situation. It was tough, but it helped build me into the player and the person that I am now."
On whether the Eagles spoke with him about his role: "I haven't heard anything how the Eagles plan to use me yet. I've played both sides; that's something that you learn at Virginia Tech. You always have to be prepared to play multiple positions because you never know how you're going to help out the team. Anything they ask me to do, I'm ready and willing to do. I'm just anxious to get a new start for a great team."
On whether he sees himself as an every-down defensive end or a "specialty pass rusher": "I'm an every-down defensive end. Rushing the passer is fun, but you don't get the opportunity until you stop the run. That's something that I pride myself on."
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 8:29 p.m., March 16