Robert Saleh: Jets 'all have faith in Mike White' as QB change from Zach Wilson progresses

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh smiles as he talks with his team during the second half of the game against the Miami Dolphins.
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh smiles as he talks with his team during the second half of the game against the Miami Dolphins. / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

When Mike White takes the field for the Jets on Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium, he’ll be doing so for the first time this season.

However, this situation isn’t foreign to the 27-year-old who played in four games for New York in 2021, starting in three of them.

Now tasked with starting quarterback duties once again, head coach Robert Saleh just wants him to play within himself.

“He doesn’t need to be anybody but Mike White,” Saleh said.

At least in practice, it appears that White understands that he doesn’t have to play hero ball, especially when the Jets sport the kind of defense that they do. All he needs to do is give his team a chance.

In those three starts last season (in which he went 1-2) White played well, left due to injury and played bad. He finished the season with five touchdowns on 953 passing yards but eight interceptions, four of which came in his final start against the Buffalo Bills.

“He prepares every day like he’s the next man up, which he is in this case,” Saleh said. “So he’s a professional in every sense of the word and as much as he’s grown, you naturally will grow because of how he attacks every day and he’s got another year under his belt within the system.”

The Jets are hoping that the added experience that White has gained can translate to success on the field.

At the very least, it’s comforting to know his performance at practice was good enough to leapfrog Joe Flacco on the quarterback depth chart and be the named the backup to Zach Wilson before this eventual promotion.

“Mike’s been fine, he’s a professional,” Saleh said. “You wouldn’t tell one way or the other. He does a really good job of running the offense. He’s got good command of the huddle and we’re all excited for his opportunity.”

Saleh also mentioned that the starting conversation between him and White “lasted all of 30 seconds.”

“We all have faith in Mike White … we all believe that his best is good enough,” Saleh said.