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Tuesday in Hawkville: Tony McDaniel finishes what he started

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Free-agent addition Tony McDaniel started at the three-technique tackle spot in the Seahawks’ season opener on Sunday and drew praise from coach Pete Carroll for his physical play.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 10, when the players had their "off" day and the coaches were compiling the game plan for Sunday night's nationally televised home opener against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: PHYSICAL

As in the way Tony McDaniel played in Sunday's season opener. Don't look now, but the Seahawks might have found their starter at the three-technique tackle position.

YOU DON'T SAY

"I'm excited for another opportunity to show how good we are. Both teams have made this a great rivalry and we're looking forward to the challenge."

All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas on Sunday night's game.

McDaniel was signed in free agency with the idea that he could replace the length and leverage provided by since-departed Alan Branch the past two seasons. But the 6-foot-7, 305-pound McDaniel was sidelined throughout training camp and the preseason by a hamstring injury.

But McDaniel did start against the Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday and was impressive.

Asked on Monday what he liked about the defensive line in that game, coach Pete Carroll offered, "I really liked Tony. Tony McDaniel did a nice job first chance out."

McDaniel's highlight play was his recovery at the Seahawks' 8-yard line of a fumble All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas forced with 5:25 to play and the Panthers driving for what could have been a go-ahead score. But McDaniel also had five tackles to lead all the D-linemen – including back-to-back stops of Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams for 1 yard on second-and-2 and no gain on third-and-1.

"He was physical," Carroll said. "He got his hands in the face of the quarterback a couple of times. He didn't get any sacks, but he was forceful at the line of scrimmage. He defeated some good blocks in double-team situations and all that.

"He looks like he could really help us. I was fired up about that."

PLAYER WATCH: DERRICK COLEMAN

STAT DU JOUR: BIRTHDAY BOYS

This one is more of a strange twist than a stat. Sunday, when the Seahawks host the 49ers, Carroll will celebrate his 62nd birthday. Last season, when the Seahawks beat the 49ers 42-13 at CenturyLink Field on Dec. 23, it was Jim Harbaugh's 49th birthday.

McDaniel wasn't the only one to make his first start for the Seahawks. Even though the Seahawks' offense opened with a two-tight end set, the "starting" fullback was Derrick Coleman – in his first NFL game.

Coleman, a tailback at UCLA who spent time on the practice squad last December, caught three passes for 30 yards and also did some lead-blocking for Marshawn Lynch.

"He did a nice job," Carroll said. "He blocked well enough to get that kind of recognition and he caught the ball and ran with it very well, too. So he did a good job for his first game. He did well and contributed on special teams and did some really nice things there, too."

DELTA DEAL: AIRLINE EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP

The club level at CenturyLink Field has been renamed the Delta Sky360 Club in a sponsorship deal between the airline and the Seahawks and Sounders FC that was announced on Tuesday during a ceremony at the stadium.

"It's really important to us," Seahawks and Sounders FC president Pete McLoughlin said. "As we look at our business, we realize we have opportunity to grow revenue which will allow us to invest back into the team and invest into the stadium infrastructure to create a better fan experience.

"So having a company like Delta step up and help us achieve those goals is just fantastic."

UP NEXT: "COMPETITION WEDNESDAY"

The players return from their "off" day to begin practicing for Sunday's home opener. Defensive ends Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril, who were inactive for the season opener, are scheduled to practice.

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