A high-motor guy
Clinton McDonald is part of a tight battle for the defensive tackle pass-rushing position on third downs for the Seattle Seahawks.
At 6-2 and 297 pounds, McDonald is strong enough to be a disruptive force inside, but also quick enough to chase down quarterbacks.
“One specific reason they wanted to throw me in there is because they know I’m high power, high-rev type guy,” he said. “And they want me to get in there and get after it – either push the pocket or create some kind of havoc.”
A seventh-round selection by Cincinnati in 2009, McDonald came to Seattle in a trade for cornerback Kelly Jennings at the beginning of last season. McDonald finished 35 tackles and four quarterback hurries in 15 games played for Seattle last season, including one start.
“Basically what I bring to the table is the same thing they had here – I just bring a little bit more of it,” McDonald said. “I bring mental toughness, physical toughness, running to the ball and being a hustle guy.
“I’m trying to push the pocket a little more this year because I think that’s what the team needs.”
At 25 years old, McDonald is part of a dynamic group of pass rushers Seattle added in the team’s attempt to do a better job of getting after the quarterback. McDonald joins first-round pick Bruce Irvin, fourth-round pick Jaye Howard and seventh-round selection Greg Scruggs as players slated to boost Seattle’s pass rush on third down
“We’re bringing in a lot of young guys including myself in to help out,” he said. “Even though some of us our young, a lot of guys are maturing early mentally, not just physically, and getting ready for our division.”
McDonald also is part of defensive line group that plays with a lot of swagger. The play of fellow teammates like Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Chris Clemons help give an aggressive, in-your-face attitude and confidence to the rest of the defense.
“As a defensive lineman you have to be a little bit cocky – but not too cocky,” he said. “I respect everybody, but you still have to have a fearless attitude.”
A Southern boy at heart
A native of Jacksonville, Arkansas, McDonald attended the University of Memphis, earning All-Conference USA honors his senior year by totaling a team-high seven sacks.
At 6-2 and 240 pounds, McDonald said he played middle linebacker in high school, and his favorite player was Ray Lewis.
“I was cracking helmets and giving concussions,” joked McDonald about his high school days playing linebacker.
The trade from Cincinnati to Seattle brought McDonald to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. And while the weather and the culture are different, so far McDonald has enjoyed his time in Seattle.
“I got drafted by Cincinnati, so I’ve always been in that southern region,” he said. “Cincinnati is right there on the border next to Kentucky, so I was still in the South in a sense. But coming way out here and experiencing Seattle is crazy. It’s the loudest stadium I ever played in, and just the people are amazing. When the sun’s out it’s beautiful.”
Of course, McDonald misses Southern cooking, including Memphis barbeque.
“I like it wet,” McDonald said about his preference for wet ribs instead of dry rub. “I like Corky’s”