By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – Four weeks of practice and two preseason games haven’t done much to clear up Seattle’s depth chart at defensive tackle.
In fact, the situation may be even more muddled than it was when training camp opened, which is why this week might be more important for Tony McDaniel than any other Seahawk.
“We’re anxious to see Tony in here this weekend,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. “We’ve been waiting for him to get in and get a chance to show what he can do. We’re really kind of fired up to see him do it.”
The urgency isn’t just because McDaniel missed about two weeks because of a groin injury, but also because Seattle hasn’t found a starting defensive tackle in his absence.
Jesse Williams sat out practice for the second consecutive day, his problematic knee making it difficult to know how much Seattle can count on the fifth-round pick from Alabama. Fellow rookie Jordan Hill was out Wednesday, too, after injuring his arm in practice Tuesday. And while Hill has played on early downs, he was drafted with an eye toward providing immediate help in terms of pass rush.
That brings us back to McDaniel, a seven-year pro who was signed from Miami with hopes he could step into the spot Alan Branch filled the past two years. Jaye Howard may also see some time there, but all eyes are going to be on McDaniel as Seattle tries to figure out who will wind up being the fourth starter on that defensive line.
“We have a sense of where we’re heading,” Quinn said. “As far as locking down the starter’s spot? We’re not there yet.”
Wilson back to Wisconsin
Quarterback Russell Wilson had tickets to go to a Packers game during his senior year at Wisconsin.
He just didn’t get to use those tickets because of an odd little story that involves Rose Bowl preparations and an impromptu practice session.
Wilson and his Wisconsin teammates were practicing in anticipation of their New Year’s bowl game against Oregon. The workout was on Saturday and the team was scheduled to be off on Sunday, which is when Wilson was planning to head to Green Bay to watch the game at Lambeau Field.
Just one problem.
“We had a bad practice,” Wilson said.
So coach Bret Bielema called an audible and scheduled a practice for Sunday, which meant Wilson couldn’t go. Friday’s preseason game will be his first time at Lambeau Field.
“It’s going to be a great stadium, obviously,” Wilson said. “We’re playing a great football team. Obviously, I have a lot of respect for them. A lot of respect for their fans, too.”