Williams trying to find role in Seahawks offense
Mike Williams won't say he's frustrated by his lack of involvement in the Seattle Seahawks' offense.
Through the first three games of the season, Williams has just five catches for 43 yards and was held without a catch in last week's 13-10 win over Arizona. Williams has gone an entire half in each game without a single pass thrown his way by quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. In fact, Jackson has more rushing yards (45) through three games than Williams does receiving yards.
''I'm not frustrated, I'm just competitive,'' Williams said.
''I've been around enough situations to have my own perspective on things. I just know I've got to control what I can control. If I come in here upset and I show that I'm upset, or I practice like I'm upset and don't work, that just takes away from me as a player. All I can do is continue to work and do my part,'' he said.
Both Jackson and head coach Pete Carroll said, unprompted, after the victory that they need to get Williams more involved with the offense.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell echoed those comments this week as well.
''It's one of those games,'' Bevell said. ''I know Sidney (Rice) was back and then Sidney ends up catching a bunch of balls. Sometimes that happens where one guy will catch a bunch and next week it could flip and Mike could have all the catches. But we'd like to move it around. 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.''
Williams experienced a career-resurgance with the Seahawks last year. After being out of the league for two years, Williams latched on with Seattle over the offseason and vaulted up the depth chart to become Matt Hasselbeck's go-to target. He posted three games with at least 10 catches and three 100-yard receiving games. Despite just one touchdown catch during the regular season, Williams had three touchdowns in the team's two playoff games against New Orleans and Chicago.
For his efforts, Williams was rewarded with a three-year contract extension in January.
Since then, the offense that Williams thrived in has disappeared. Hasselbeck is gone, the team has a new offensive coordinator and a new big free-agent signing in Rice.
''From a personal standpoint, as a player you want to continue to get better,'' Williams 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. If we can go win 14 games and I don't get a catch ...''
''I've just got to work, I've just got to continue to do what I do. Regardless of if the ball is not coming my way, that doesn't mean I can't run a good route and play hard. I'm trying to be a pro, continue to work, and it'll come when it comes.''
Williams isn't a receiver that's going to create a ton of separation from his defenders. Instead, he uses his big frame to shield defenders away from the ball. For a quarterback, it takes time and practice to develop a trust with a receiver to make plays when he's got a defender on top of him.
Jackson has that trust in Rice built from their time together in Minnesota. Jackson connected with Rice for a 32-yard gain on a throw up the sideline with the Cardinals' Adrian Wilson running stride for stride. Rice appeared in his first game with the Seahawks and caught eight passes for 108 yards.
''It takes a little familiarity,'' Jackson said. ''We've done it before. I've seen him make plays with Brett (Favre) like that and seen him make plays over the last four or five years that we've been together so obviously there's some comfort there.''
Carroll said he's doesn't see any tentativeness from Jackson in looking for his other targets, but the rapport with Williams and the rest of the receiving corps is still a work in progress.
''Who knows, I might have a couple good weeks in a row, then this will all be old news,'' Williams said.