Tapp's love for football brings out his unmatched enthusiasm

Posted Jun 18, 2015

Defensive end Darryl Tapp is high energy all the time, and head coach Jim Caldwell says you can't place a value on something like that.

Darryl Tapp is the kind of player you love to have on your team.

When the defensive lineman split into two teams to spice up their individual drills, Tapp is the player most often chirping at the other team, and dancing when his guy wins.

When the defense makes a play against the offense in a team drill, there’s an excellent chance Tapp’s voice will be the first one heard making sure the offense knows what just happened.

He's also the guy yelling to his linemates before plays are snapped encouraging them and letting them know he's watching.

Darryl TappDE Darryl Tapp (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Tapp is high energy all the time and head coach Jim Caldwell said at the conclusion of minicamp on Thursday there’s no value that can be placed on that.

“His enthusiasm is unmatched because he does it every single day, every minute of the day,” Caldwell said. “In the classroom or on the field he’s always just got kind of a personality. That’s one of the things that we talk about in this game that makes it special is authenticity. He’s a very, very authentic person and you need guys like him.

“Matter of fact, before we came in Jim Washburn said to us, ‘Hey, if we sign this guy, let me just tell you something. This guy is a force multiplier.’

"Nobody quite knew exactly what he meant. Certainly we understand the term, but it came to fruition when he walked into the building. Guys gravitate toward him, he’s a leader. He’s a great example for the young guys as well.”

Tapp says he isn’t doing anything but being himself. He's passionate on the practice field, in the locker room and in the meeting room because he simply loves the game of football.

“I genuinely love the game,” he said. “I love the whole process. Preparing. Right after the season, I’m on my own (working out), then going to minicamp and OTAs. Right now it’s preparing myself getting ready for the season. I just genuinely love this game. It’s awesome.”

The offseason, and especially the dog days of training camp in mid-August, can be tedious for players. Tapp takes it upon himself to be the guy to try and boost everyone up.

“Anything you can grab onto to be an extra boost to get through practice or get yourself right for the game, we gravitate towards,” Tapp said.

“I’m just happy that this a team, as far as coach Caldwell and coach (Jim) Washburn and coach (Kris) Kocurek allow me to be myself. A couple of the places I’ve been they’ve kind of harnessed me and it’s just not me. (The Lions) allow me to come out here and be myself and enjoy the game.”

Tapp re-signed this offseason on a one-year, $950,000 deal to be part of a defensive end rotation along with Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, Devin Taylor and Larry Webster.

“I’m comfortable knowing what I need to do in the defense,” Tapp said of his role. “Coach TA (Teryl Austin) runs a very elaborate defense, but we put so much work in last year, and this offseason, I’m comfortable knowing where I need to go so I can go out there and play and react.”

Tapp was a key reserve for the Lions’ defensive line last year, playing in all 16 regular-season games and recording 302 snaps with 17 tackles, a sack and two passes defended.

“He loves the game,” Caldwell said of Tapp. “That’s what you see and you hear is the passion that he has for this game. We’ve got a few guys out there like that, but maybe none quite as vocal as Daryl Tapp.”