Seven-year veteran Darryl Tapp has played on both coasts during his NFL career and split time between defensive end and outside linebacker.
After beginning his career with the Seattle Seahawks, he spent the last three seasons playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, making him quite familiar with the Redskins and the NFC East.
Besides coming home to play for his hometown team, Tapp said his biggest incentive for returning to Washington is the opportunity to improve on his career 50-62 record.
"I want to win. I'm so tired of losing," he said emphatically. "To win, and to do that on my favorite team—I couldn't ask for anything more."
Born in Portsmouth, Va. and playing collegiate football for Virginia Tech, Tapp grew up a proud Redskins fan and is excited to live out a childhood dream this upcoming season.
"You're never really at ease in the NFL, but I'm happy to be here in D.C. It was always a dream of mine to play here and it really came true this year."
Despite going to the postseason only three times in his career, Tapp has had personal success from the 4-3 defensive end position.
In 103 career games, Tapp has a combined 257 tackles, 24 sacks, nine forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Even though he will move primarily to outside linebacker with the Redskins, Tapp remains optimistic about his future.
"This is my first year majoring in [linebacker]," he said. "I played outside linebacker in different schemes for different teams in the past, but it's the first time where that's all I am. I'm pretty excited about it."
Before even meeting his new teammates in April, Tapp knew a number of Redskins as lifelong friends and teammates.
Tapp has known DeAngelo Hall since elementary school, following him to Virginia Tech where they spent two years there playing together.
Hall decided to enter the draft in 2004 while Tapp decided to play two more years at Virginia Tech, along with fellow then/now teammates Will Montgomery and Josh Morgan, before entering the draft.
Tapp and Josh Wilson played three seasons together in Seattle from 2007-2009.
"It definitely made the transition a lot better and a lot easier knowing DeAngello Hall, playing with Josh Morgan and Will Montgomery at Virginia Tech and also with Josh Wilson while I was at Seattle also made the transition easier," he said. "It was good to get here and know some guys, but honestly like I said, the Redskins have always been my favorite team.
"When I got here on my visit, everyone was on the same page and there was a lot of excitement inside the building. It was just a great feeling when I got here."
The seven-year veteran brings playoff experience and a familiarity to the NFC East with him a franchise that just captured their first NFC East divisional title since 1999.
However, Tapp carries a special skillset that can be beneficial to the team moving forward.
"I'm aggressive. Football, whatever scheme it is, the biggest thing is being where you need to be," he said. "That's something I really focus hard on, as far as learning the playbook so that when they throw me out there, there isn't any drop-off.
"The biggest thing this year is just coming in and trying to learn the defense from Coach Haslett and Coach Slough. I also want to learn how to be an outside linebacker from not just the coaches but the players as well, such as Ryan [Kerrigan], Brian [Orakpo] and Rob [Jackson] and just get on in there."
The Redskins open the season against Philadelphia, both a division foe and Tapp's old team. From Tapp's perspective, it's going to be an interesting matchup, but he's looking forward to it.
"It definitely gives you something to push for and work for this offseason and something to have a main focus on," he said with a knowing smile. "So we're all out here getting ourselves together and looking forward to playing Philadelphia to kick off the season."