One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…
Every quarterback in the NFL has an internal clock that lets them know when they need to get rid of the ball before the pass rush closes in.
For Tarvaris Jackson, playing behind an inexperienced offensive line with five guys playing together for the first time, that internal clock has sped up considerably.
And the results have not been pretty.
Jackson’s performance has been forgettable so far in exhibition play. He’s completed 27 of 48 passes (56.2 percent) for 181 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Seahawks have given up eight sacks in three games, tied for eighth worst overall.
Jackson’s 62.9 passer rating is worst among starting quarterbacks not named Andy Dalton and Cam Newton (both rookies). His lowly 3.8 yards per pass attempt is the worst among quarterbacks who qualify in that statistic.
The 28-year-old signal caller has taken several big hits because of breakdowns in pass protection, but he has chosen not to use his running ability to get out of trouble. Instead, he has stood tall in the pocket with the hope that one of his big receivers – Mike Williams or Sidney Rice – springs open down field.
“I try not to think about it, really,” Jackson said about the constant pressure in the pocket. “But you’ve got to try and understand what you’re facing. And you want to try and give your guys a chance to shake open. They were getting to the ball kind of fast and pressing (bump-and-run coverage) our guys, so it takes a little longer for those guys to get open.
“You do have to have a clock in your head, I understand that. But I want to give my guys a chance to get open. I don’t want to be premature in leaving the pocket. A lot of people are like, ‘Use your feet. Use your legs.’ But at the same time, I want it to be a part of my game, but I don’t want it to be my whole game.”
Seattle’s offensive scheme hasn’t done Jackson any favors, either.
Coach Pete Carroll’s focus on evaluating young talent on the roster has meant putting rookie guard John Moffitt and tackle James Carpenter out on an island in passing situations to see how they fare.
And as expected, they have struggled under those circumstances.
But Carroll says it’s important that his team find out what Moffitt and Carpenter can handle now before the regular season begins in two weeks.