RENTON — Looking for a replacement for Alan Branch, who departed in free agency, the Seattle Seahawks may have found one in defensive tackle Tony McDaniel.
At 6-foot-7 and a little over 300 pounds, McDaniel’s length and penchant for batting down passes at the line of scrimmage should bolster Seattle’s defensive front.
Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn compared McDaniel to another NFL giant who dominated in the 1970s and ’80s, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones.
“I asked him, ‘Do you know who Too Tall Jones is?’ And he was like, ‘Nah’ ” Quinn said. “These guys are so young that they
don’t remember some of the older guys.
“But that’s a blue-collar guy right there. He doesn’t have a lot to say, but he comes to work. He’s got his hard hat and he’s ready to do it.”
McDaniel, 28, finished with 11 tackles and half a sack for the Dolphins in 2012 as a rotational guy along the defensive line. McDaniel played on passing downs and in short-yardage situations for Miami.
McDaniel was limited to 11 games last season because of a fractured hand and a nagging knee injury. A University of Tennessee product, McDaniel started his career with Jacksonville, playing three seasons with the Jaguars before being traded to the Dolphins in 2009.
He signed a one-year, $890,000 prove-it contract with Seattle for 2013 in order to show his worth so he can earn a multiyear deal at the end of the upcoming season.
“I think I’m a pretty good run stopper,” McDaniel said. “I have a lot of length, so I can get in the quarterback’s face a lot, interrupt some of his throwing lanes because of my height and bat down some balls.
“And I think I run around a lot for my size and make plays down the field, which a lot of people don’t really recognize. I think I bring good energy to the defensive line to make other guys work harder and play harder.”
McDaniel said he had other options in free agency, but signed with Seattle because he liked the physical way the Seahawks played when he faced them in Miami last season.
McDaniel also said has a fondness for Seattle’s new duds.
“The O-line was kind of physical,” McDaniel said about playing against Seattle last year. “They were talking trash, but I kind of like that, now that I know that they’re on my team. And they’ve got dope uniforms.”
McDaniel also has a fondness for red velvet cake, saying he has one waiting for him when he returns home to South Carolina once Seattle’s offseason training program concludes Thursday.
“When I was younger, I hated red velvet cakes,” he said. “I think it was because of the color, it turned me off because it was red and I thought it wouldn’t taste good. But I maybe started eating them my junior year in college at one of my coach’s house, and after that I’ve been addicted to it.”
T-JACK IS BACK
First reported by ESPN, the Seahawks are expected to sign quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to a one-year deal after he completes a physical at the team’s facility Thursday.
Jackson played with a torn pectoral muscle, finishing 7-7 as a starter in his only season with the Seahawks in 2011. In 2012, Jackson lost his starting job during training camp in a three-man competition with Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn. He was traded to Buffalo before the season for a seventh-round selection.
However, Jackson was a favorite in Seattle’s locker room because of the toughness he showed playing through a painful injury. And he’s familiar with Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense from his time with the Vikings before arriving in Seattle.
Jackson, 30, was released by Buffalo on Monday, when the Bills narrowed their quarterback competition to veteran Kevin Kolb and first-round draft pick EJ Manuel. Jackson likely will compete with Brady Quinn for Seattle’s backup quarterback job behind Wilson.
“I don’t think he ever wanted to leave here,” Seattle receiver Sidney Rice said about Jackson returning. “It’s a great opportunity for him to be here. He’s got a lot of friends here. Everybody was kind of upset when he left, so we’ll welcome him back with open arms.”firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams