As the Eagles prepare to start another offseason mini-camp, I’m going to continue to keep a watchful eye on defensive end Darryl Tapp. Since his arrival in Philly, Reid and Co. have been primarily playing him as the number two right end behind Trent Cole. I’m interested to see if this trend continues.
Since drafting Brandon Graham in the first-round of the draft, the left defensive end spot became a bit more clear. For now Juqua Parker remains the starter, but by all accounts Graham should push him when training camp kicks off, provided the number one pick has inked a contract.
Which leads me back to Tapp. Cole has been in need of reserve help for the last couple years. Darren Howard offered some assistance, but Howard’s main usage was as a rushing tackle on passing downs. Last season in particular, Cole was pretty much on his own.
The decision to shift Tapp from left end, where he played in Seattle, to right end will hopefully pan out. Cole could benefit greatly from getting fifteen to twenty snaps off every week. This will keep him fresher for late in games and for late in the season. It was evident last December that he wore down in the two losses to Dallas as he was held sackless by the aging Flozell Adams.
If Tapp can contribute a handful of sacks and some consistent pressure as a backup to Cole, then this defense could end up being solid. There are still question marks at both WIL and SAM, and at right cornerback, but a more dominant front four should help alleviate problems in the back seven. Should all this come to fruition, Tapp will likely be one of the main reasons why.