Airplanes should ride with Mike White as long as he plays well

What is the upside to Mike White?

“Who do you know?” Jeff Olbrich said.

Ulbrich, the defensive coordinator for the Jets, has nearly two decades of experience in the NFL as a coach and player behind him, yet he doesn’t have a good idea of ​​what the new quarterback could become for his team. Coach Robert Salih also doesn’t know, this fact he made clear when he said, hypothetically, “I could be the next Vince Lombardi.”

Saleh is right. Although he might eventually win five championships, as Lombardi did with Green Bay, Saleh should feel comfortable knowing that the average Jets fan doesn’t need him to win enough rings to be able to get one to thumb up.

This fan just wants to be valid as the next Weeb Ewbank. Super Bowl Sunday is going to be a lot, thank you very much.

Now only Saleh has to see who gives him the best chance of getting the Jets close to their first title since January 1969. The smart money still says Zach Wilson, second in the draft pick this year, will evolve into a better title. player than White, the 171st overall pick (by Dallas) in the 2018 draft. But over the years, smart money has sometimes ended up looking pretty dumb in the NFL.

Mike White
Mike White
Getty Images

Throughout the history of the sport, there have been stories of a far-reaching athlete who took an unexpected break, seized the opportunity and left a lasting imprint on their teams and leagues. This does not mean that Mike White will join that group. In fact, there’s probably a better chance he’ll never win a playoff game than when he wins the Super Bowl.

But the Jets need to give White a full chance to declare whether he’s an interim sensation or the next Kurt Warner, the grocery clerk turned Super Bowl MVP. They shouldn’t automatically be benched if he doesn’t beat the best Buffalo defense in the league on Sunday at MetLife.

Under impossible circumstances, White was impressive in New England. He was the NFL Player of the Year the following week against Cincinnati on his first career start, inspiring the home crowd to chant his name. Then he looked ready to take off against the ponies before he hit his throwing arm putting the show on ice.

White’s arm feels better now compared to Wilson’s injured knee, so that’s one reason the 26-year-old backup from Western Kentucky managed the first offense of the week while the extra 22-year-old from BYU emulated Josh Allen against the series defense First.

Another reason? Saleh cleverly decided not to rain down on the fan base parade (since this fan base never really enjoys the actual parade). White is a heartwarming story, and the customers who pay are not the only ones who respond to it. Thursday, the midfielder revealed that his teammates still chant his name when he enters the locker room. “It’s kind of crazy,” he said of being the improbable town elite.

Only it’s not that crazy. When asked if he thought he could become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, White replied, “Yes. I definitely do.” He qualified it by saying that every quarterback needs great self-confidence in order to thrive, but Make no mistake: White thinks he can beat Wilson in the long run and emerge as an aircraft novice. He sees no point in saying that with Buffalo being a formidable short-term hurdle, and with his dear friend, Wilson, being as generous and supportive as his teammate and competitor.

White is an accomplished golfer, and everyone around him knows that confidence is the most dangerous club in his bag. When a reporter asked why he dropped out of college, White couldn’t explain it. He said, “If you ask me, I should have been the first choice overall.” Once again, this is from the guy vying against a second general pick.

Olbrich, the defensive coordinator, is a huge fan of Wilson, yet his eyes lit up on Thursday when asked about White’s ability and potential.

“Mike has that moxi, that confidence, that insurmountable booty,” he said. “He just has….translated to Sundays.

“He’s one of those guys who is good at everything he does. I don’t think those last two games were just a coincidence. … I think he’s a skilled player with some special qualities, and it will be interesting to see what more chances he can become.” .

So if White plays a good game against the Bills – win, lose or draw – he should earn another start against Miami regardless of how Wilson feels in the knee. The Jets must continue to play White until he plays himself off the field.

And if that means White is the first quarterback for the rest of this year, or the rest of this decade, so be it.


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