That the Eagles signed free agent Dan Klecko to a two-year contract last week wasn't a big surprise. That they are going to make him a full-time fullback, though, is.
Klecko, 27, a five-year NFL veteran, has spent the bulk of his career as a defensive tackle and linebacker, but made cameo appearances at fullback and tight end during his three seasons with the New England Patriots and two with the Indianapolis Colts.
Klecko gives the Eagles two things they didn't get from Tapeh. One is physicality. The 5-foot-11 Klecko currently weighs 285 pounds, but will probably report to training camp in July at about 265 or 270.
Klecko also can play on special teams, which was something Tapeh didn't do. Because of his size, the Eagles also could line him up at tight end in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
"It's going to be a lot of hard work in changing my mentality to the offensive side of the ball, but we'll see how it goes," said Klecko, who knows Philadelphia well, having attended Temple University. "It's going to be an experiment for me too."
Klecko's size worked against him as an NFL defensive tackle. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who likes to move his defensive front-seven personnel around, played him some as an inside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. But he doesn't really have the speed to be a 'backer in Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's 4-3 scheme.
Klecko won't be handed the starting fullback job. He and Davis, a third-year player who spent his rookie year on injured reserve, will compete for the job in training camp.
Davis is much lighter than Klecko, topping out at about 240 pounds. He is a decent runner, but the Eagles seldom give the ball to their fullback.