RENTON, Wash. (AP) — While the Seattle Seahawks had more high profile additions this offseason, the signing of defensive tackle Tony McDaniel could prove to be a quiet steal.
As the Seahawks were trading for dynamic receiver Percy Harvin and adding defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in free agency, McDaniel's addition in April flew under the radar. McDaniel signed with Seattle after spending the last four seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Seattle hoped McDaniel could serve as a replacement for Alan Branch, who signed with the Buffalo Bills.
Branch had spent the last two seasons anchoring the interior of the Seahawks' defensive line alongside Brandon Mebane but Seattle elected to let him walk in free agency and turned their focus toward McDaniel.
"He's a big man, he takes up a lot of space, he's tall, he can reach, he can get right in the way of a quarterback's throwing lanes and all that," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of McDaniel. "I think that he's going to be a nice addition and he's just going to continue to get better and he is just learning from what we expect from him."
McDaniel earned the starting job alongside Mebane and did something in his first game that Branch was unable to accomplish in his two years with the Seahawks. McDaniel recorded five tackles in Seattle's 12-7 season-opening victory over the Carolina Panthers last week. Branch never recorded more than four in any of his 31 games with the Seahawks.
"It was great for me to get out there, play a whole game and show my coaches and my teammates some things I can do when I'm healthy," McDaniel said.
"I think I fit perfectly," he added.
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