Defensive end Darryl Tapp is in unfamiliar territory this season. After Seattle selected the 6-1, 270-pound defensive lineman in the second round of the 2006 draft, Tapp played in every game for the Seahawks in four seasons.
For his efforts, he managed 177 tackles and 18 sacks, impressive numbers for a man who only made 32 starts in 64 games. But this season, after trading for Tapp in March, the Eagles made Tapp inactive for the first two games, which were the first two he's missed in his career.
Does Tapp want to get out there and play? He sure does.
""Yea, definitely,"" Tapp said. ""As an athlete and as a player you always want to be out there contributing, but the coach has a master plan so I'll keep on working until my opportunity comes.""
Tapp's hard work might finally pay off this weekend. With the tough Maurice Jones-Drew on the horizon, there's a good chance Tapp will be activated this Sunday in Jacksonville. But facing the shifty Jaguars running back is no easy task. Tapp said the key to neutralizing Jones-Drew is to target his feet.
""He's about 5-6 (he's listed at 5-7), but he's rocked up,"" Tapp said. ""He's got a real strong lower body, and a very good center of gravity, so we're going to have to wrap up and try to get his feet off the ground so he can't get those tough yards.""
All you can ask for in this league is an opportunity. Tapp played well in limited snaps while on the Seahawks, and the Eagles coaching staff expects him to be a productive player in Philadelphia. But first, you need to fully understand the defense. Head coach Andy Reid said he thinks Tapp is getting close.
"Darryl's had a couple good weeks of practice,"" Reid said. ""I think he's just getting used to the system and all, and the way we do it. He's done a pretty good job here the last couple weeks, so we'll just see. We'll just see how he does."
If this weekend marks Tapp's first game as a Philadelphia Eagle, no one will be happier than Tapp himself. He's putting in the hard work, and is excited for his chance to show it on game day. But as Tapp explained, it's not just about getting the chance to play. It's about doing something with that chance.
""If you get the opportunity,"" Tapp said, ""you have to make the most of it.""
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, September 25, 3:40 p.m.