In my rush to publish an announcement on the newest member of the Seattle Seahawks, I got a little carried away on some of my analysis. I just re-read it, and my first thought was “wow, that was harsh.”
The truth is that I haven’t had a chance to examine how McDaniel was used in Miami, and if that’s different than what the Seahawk’s ask their 3-tech DT to do. Until I’ve had a chance to do that I cannot, with complete confidence, tell you how he’ll do with the Seahawks.
Different teams ask their DTs to play the game in very different ways. Some 2-gap, while other’s 1-gap. Some are asked to get into the backfield and be disruptive, others are asked to do their best to “eat blocks.”
Sometimes the problem has more to do with what the team is asking the player to try and do, than it does with the overall talent level of the player.
There are plenty of examples; look at the Kansas City Chiefs entire defensive line. That was a unit of disruptive 1-gap specialists trying (and failing) to 2-gap in Romeo Crennel’s defensive scheme.
Perhaps that was the case with McDaniel in Miami.
Finding a player’s strengths and then putting them in a position where they can be successful has been the key trademark of Pete Carroll’s tenure with the Seahawks. If anyone can find a way to turn McDaniel’s physical talent into production, it’s him.