In a group of 90 men, it's easy to blend in. But defensive end Darryl Tapp, with his ear-to-ear, gap-toothed smile, is hard to miss.
Tapp can always be seen smiling. He's always laughing. He laughs at himself, and he laughs at others. He just looks happy, all the time.
"I'm just happy to play the game and happy to have the opportunity," Tapp said, laughing in between sentences. "That's just the way I am. I love being around me!"
Tapp has taken advantage of his opportunities, playing as well as any of the other talented defensive linemen throughout Training Camp. With two "sacks" – remember, you can't tackle the quarterback - in practice on Sunday afternoon, Tapp continues to show why he deserves a roster spot.
"I'm just working, that's it," Tapp said. "We're trying to get our legs back as far as game-time legs. We saw what we needed to work on in the first preseason game and we're just pushing forward."
Specifically, he has been working on his "stance and alignment."
"For defensive linemen, stance and alignment is 80 percent of what we do, so when you have a bad stance or bad alignment, that messes you up for the entire play," Tapp said. "That's something I'm trying to focus on as far as getting the right alignment and getting in the right stance consistently, even when I get a little bit winded, so I can perform."
As anyone who comes to a Training Camp practice knows, Tapp can always be heard talking on the field. He does not talk just for the sake of hearing his voice though. He says part of the reason for his vocal nature is to both spark the defense and to get in the heads of the offensive linemen.
"It definitely gets tough out here," said Tapp, who was acquired in a trade with Seattle in 2010. "Coach (Andy) Reid runs a tough camp, so you just have to come out here and try to be the spark for the defensive line, the offensive line, just try to help out where you can."
Historically, the Eagles have kept five defensive ends on the 53-man roster, but the team could choose to go heavy on the defensive line due to their abundance of talent at the defensive end position.
Pro Bowl nominees Trent Cole and Jason Babin, 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham and this year's second-round pick Vinny Curry will all-but-definitely fill out the first four defensive end spots. It remains to be seen if the Eagles will keep one or two additional ends, with Phillip Hunt, who had two sacks in the preseason opener, and Tapp as the lead candidates.
Tapp does not let the limited number of roster spots affect his mindset.
"It's not in my makeup. I just go out there and handle my business and let the chips fall where they may," he said.
Off the field, Tapp's smile and vibrant personality make it impossible for him to go unnoticed. But to really catch the coaches' attention and make the 53-man roster, he'll have to continue to let his play on the field do the talking.
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