As a youngster growing up in Chesapeake, Va., Darryl Tapp was a big Redskins fan. Even as a member of the Seahawks and Eagles, he kept tabs on his childhood team from afar.
So when he found out the Redskins were interested in signing him, the former Virginia Tech standout couldn’t have been more thrilled.
“When I walked into Redskins Park, the first thing that caught my eyes was those three Super Bowl trophies,” Tapp told 102.1 The Game in Virginia Beach on Friday. A day earlier, the 28-year-old signed a one-year contract with Washington after spending the previous three seasons in Philadelphia.
“The culture has changed around there,” he added, referring to the Redskins’ run to the NFC East championship last season. “I’ve been a Redskins fan, man, my entire life. Even though I was playing for Seattle and Philadelphia, I kept my eyes and ears on what the Redskins were doing – except when we were playing them. I always wanted the best for those guys. It’s been cool to see the transition there. … I’m very happy to be part of what’s going [there] on now.”
Although Tapp played defensive end in the Eagles’ scheme, he confirmed that the Redskins intend to move him to outside linebacker, where he’ll likely back up Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo.
“And the thing they said the most: just get the quarterback,” Tapp said of his conversations with the Redskins’ coaching staff prior to signing. “We got to get some more pressure in there and add to the dynamic tandem they already have with Kerrigan and Orakpo. I’m just going to get in there, give the best effort I can, get that quarterback and hopefully good things will happen for us.”
Last season, the Redskins struggled to generate a consistent pass rush, particularly after Orakpo was lost in Week 2 with a torn pectoral muscle. And with another reserve, Rob Jackson, facing a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, the need for a player like the 6 foot 1, 270-pound Tapp was apparent.
Although Tapp has been used primarily as a reserve in his seven pro seasons, he’s made 35 starts and has 24 career sacks, including 7 sacks in 2007 and 5.5 in 2008 with Seattle.
Tapp also said he anticipates the switch from his responsibilities in the Eagles’ scheme to linebacker in the Redskins’ system to be a seamless one. He’ll also play on special teams.
“It’s an easy transition,” he said. “They’re going to be clueing me up on how to be an outside linebacker and I’m pretty sure they’re going to get the job done.”