But the rapid rise of Brandon Graham and strong training camp showing by Trevor Laws has made Tapp something of an afterthought so far in Lehigh.
As Tapp has adjusted to a different defensive system, Graham has wowed coaches and fans with his turbo-charged pass rush, and Laws has won raves for his off-season work and ability to penetrate the middle of the offensive line.
Laws has recently been working with the first team in the nickel formation, taking over a role that Tapp held earlier in camp.
Laws’ presence in the nickel, along with speedsters Graham, Trent Cole and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, adds a big-bodied tackle to the formations’s quick front line. Laws is listed at 304 pounds, 34 pounds heavier than Tapp.
Coach Andy Reid recently said Laws was among the team’s best pass-rushing defensive tackles.
Added defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, “Trevor is having a really good camp, so if you keep playing well, you’re going to move up.”
In passing situations, McDermott is looking for a push up the gut to collapse the pocket while Cole and Graham fly in from their end positions.
“The push up the middle, with our speed on the edge, is important,” McDermott said. “When the quarterback does feel like he wants to step up, he’s got somebody in his face all the while.”
Laws played mainly on first and second downs in his first two years with the Eagles, concentrating on holding the line and stuffing the run. Now, in nickel situations, his focus is on pressing forward and penetrating the offensive line.”
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