RENTON – Leave my quarterback alone.
That’s what Seattle Seahawks receiver Mike Williams said in so many words when addressing reporters on Monday.
Williams and the rest of his teammates have heard the constant criticism streaming from columns, blogs and sports talk radio aimed at quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. And Williams defended his quarterback as the Seahawks begin preparation for their season opener Sunday at San Francisco.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” Williams said. “If it’s overwhelming for a teammate, then it has to be enough for him. I just kind of want to tell everybody, ‘Back the hell up.’ Let him play. Let him have his shot to work and go out here and do his thing.”
Jackson’s play hasn’t exactly inspired confidence in the Seahawks’ fan base during exhibition play.
The starting offense managed to score 13 points with Jackson at quarterback during the preseason in a little over a game’s worth of plays, with the lone touchdown coming against Denver’s second-team defense.
In exhibitions, Jackson completed 32 of 55 passes (58.2 percent) for 269 yards (58.2 percent), with one touchdown and two interceptions. He finished with a 61.9 passer rating and was sacked seven times.
But playing behind a young, inexperienced line, Jackson never had a clean pocket to step into and push the ball downfield.
“Up until the last preseason game, we all agree that the offensive line and the backs, we didn’t really do a good enough job of protecting him and giving him enough time to go out there and show what he can do,” running back Leon Washington said. “So you see what happened in the Oakland game. We really placed an emphasis on protecting him and keeping him upright, and he was able to drive us down the field and make plays.
“So we don’t pay any attention to that at all. Football is a team sport.”
Added Williams: “Rule No. 1 is to protect the team – so you always do that. It is what it is. Everyone has an opinion. But the only ones that count are in this locker room. He’s been voted a captain by this team, so that obviously lets you know how the team feels about him.”
PAIR MAY NOT PLAY
Two of Seattle’s major free agent acquisitions may not be ready for Sunday’s opener against San Francisco.
Offensive guard Robert Gallery and receiver Sidney Rice did not practice on Monday and coach Pete Carroll said he’ll wait until later in the week to see if both are ready.
Gallery is nursing a sprained right knee he suffered in the first half against Oakland on Friday.
“He’s had a couple good days here,” Carroll said about Gallery. “He’s got a sprained knee and we’re just going to have to see how it goes day to day. We’ll watch him carefully and he’s hopeful that he can make it back by the weekend. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Rice was held out of the last exhibition game with a sore shoulder. Ben Obomanu worked with the first unit in place of Rice during Monday’s practice.
“We’ll wait later in the week to know what’s going on with him,” Carroll said about Rice.
With Gallery out, veteran Paul McQuistan, who backed up Gallery in Oakland, worked at left guard along with rookie James Carpenter. The rookie from Alabama may play there out of necessity with the Seahawks likely suiting up seven or eight offensive linemen for the 45-man roster.
Carpenter also got work with the first unit at right tackle, splitting time with Breno Giacomini.
The Seahawks announced captains on Monday, which are voted on by the team. Tarvaris Jackson is the offensive captain, Marcus Trufant is the defensive captain, and Leon Washington and Michael Robinson are special teams co-captains. … Wide receiver Isaiah Stanback was dropped from the injured reserve list and is no longer with the team. … Running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle) and linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) did not practice on Monday, but are expected to practice on Wednesday. … The Seahawks added running back Vai Taua and cornerback Ron Parker to the practice squad.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks