RENTON — When Pete Carroll stepped to a podium Sunday to discuss the Seahawks’ first win of the season, he was quick to point out, unprovoked, that his team needs to get the ball to Mike Williams more often.
A few minutes later, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was saying the same thing about Wi
lliams, the team’s leading receiver a year ago, who went without a catch in the win over Arizona. It seemed very apparent that both parties were trying to ease any tension that could develop if Williams feels he isn’t involved enough in the offense.
Williams himself, however, insists that he isn’t frustrated despite being targeted only once in the victory, and having no catches — something that never happened last season.
“When you win a game, that’s all that’s important,” he said. “It’s selfish to be talking about your own thing when you got your first win as a team and first step in the right direction. All I can do is control what I can control, and that’s get back out here and get to work.”
Last season, Williams was Matt Hasselbeck’s go-to guy, catching 65 passes as he revived a career that had seen him go from top-10 pick to a washout who spent two seasons out of football. But while Hasselbeck was comfortable feeding the ball to Williams, even when he didn’t appear to be wide open, it is clear that, early in his tenure as Seattle’s quarterback, Jackson is not yet as comfortable throwing Williams’ way.
On Sunday, with Sidney Rice back in action, Jackson spent most of the day throwing at his former Minnesota teammate, who finished with eight catches for 109 yards. Meanwhile, as hard as it is to believe, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Williams was the invisible man on the field for most of the day.
As the season goes on, Carroll wants to see his offense become more versatile, and for that to happen, Jackson will have to get more comfortable getting the ball in Williams’ hands.
“It’s important to us, yeah,” Carroll said. “We missed some chances to get the ball to Mike last week when the ball went the other way. Mike got open some times in crucial situations. (Jackson) has a choice on plays and what side it goes and for one reason or another, it just didn’t get there.
“I don’t think it’s any issue, or there’s no concerns about it, or there’s no scheme issues with us at all, so it’s just a matter of just spreading the ball around. It could go the other way easily. We’ve seen Mike catch 10 balls in a game and we’re happy to do that. I’m not concerned about that at all.”
And even if he’s not frustrated, it’s not like Williams is happy with being left out of the offense. He had a big comeback season last year, but he doesn’t view that as the end of his story, but rather the beginning of the latest chapter in a revived career.
Williams would rather the latest chapter wasn’t about his numbers taking a huge dip in 2011, but he also understands there are more important things than his number of catches.
“From a personal standpoint, as a player you want to continue to get better,” he said. “Last year was a big year for me, so going in this year I have my own personal goals and things I want to achieve, but that’s all secondary to what the team is trying to do.
“It might sound crazy, but I’d rather win. If we lose a game and I don’t feel like I was a factor, that’s a different story.”
So no, Williams won’t rock the boat. He’s taking the mature approach, something he admittedly may not have been able to do in his younger days with Detroit. But for the Seahawks to grow as an offense, it is in everyone’s best interest, Williams’ included, for him to see more of the ball.
“We’d like to move it around,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “We’d like to get all those guys involved. There were opportunities to get Mike the ball, we didn’t go there. So we’ll continue to work on it.”
Besides, even if Williams wants a bigger role in Seattle’s offense, he also knows there are worse places he could be on Sundays. Having spent two years out of the game entirely, Williams has a unique perspective on his current situation.
“Not getting any catches still beats sitting on my couch,” he said. “I could be watching Seahawks-Cardinals from my couch, so I’d much rather be a part of it regardless of how it’s going right now.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog