Simms: White is ‘one of the best backups' in NFL

Chris Simms explains to Mike Florio how Mike White being more aggressive with his decision making earned him No. 35 on his Top 40 QB Countdown, but why the QB needs to learn to preserve himself better.

Video Transcript

- Mike White had a t-shirt last year with "Mike F-ing White" on it. That was something his teammates from the Jets wore, a beloved figure. Anybody who's the number two quarterback in New York becomes the beloved figure. We'll see if it happens this year. He's now number two to Tua Tagovailoa in Miami, and he comes in at number 35 ahead of the rookies, ahead of Bryce Young, ahead of CJ Stroud, ahead of Anthony Richardson. It's Mike F-ing White.

CHRIS SIMMS: Blinded by Mike White. Blinded by Mike White. Well, Mike White, in my opinion, is a little further down the road as a player than guys like Sam Howell or Desmond Ridder, and that's why I put him in front of the rookies. I mean, Mike White, to me, he's one of the best backups in football. He's damn good. He really is.

He's got some starting-caliber traits to him. One, he's got good size. He's a bigger man than people realize at 6' 4." I don't know why. He doesn't look like that out in the football field, right? He's got a stronger arm than I think people probably give him credit for. I'm not saying it's a laser, but hey, he's still-- he can push deep out routes, deep in cuts, do any of that.

And the thing I liked about him this year compared to last year, more aggressive this year with decision-making and throwing the football, as an example of this right here. Last year, I thought people made too big of a deal about Mike White. I was like, wait, all he does is throw the ball 3 and 4 yards at a time, and nothing really happens to advance the offense. This year, plays like this were definitely more common in this football game.

So that's what I like about Mike White, high end backup. But also, a little too loose with it at times this year, too aggressive, hanging in the pocket too long, and has a little bit of a long deliberate motion, like you see there, where people can get a little bit of a beat on it. Or if he does have people around him, he can't get it out of his hand quite as well.

He's tough. He hangs in there. He's probably a little too tough for his own good, and that's why he keeps getting hurt. He needs to preserve himself a little bit there. But Mike White was the quarterback of an offense that was not very good. Let's be real here, all right? But he did some good things, and I'm a fan of Mike White. Like I said, I think he's one of the better backups in all of football. But Mike, here's the thing--

- If he really wants to be taken seriously, if he wants to be taken seriously as a quarterback he needs to go get Takeo Spice neck. That's when you know he's ready. I mean, he just gets blasted and keeps going, and he played with that rib injury last year. But Chris, look, of all the potential backups that the Dolphins could sign, this isn't the guy. You said it over and over again. You need a backup who's going to stay healthy.

CHRIS SIMMS: I was a little surprised of that, right? My phrase last year with Tua and Bridgewater is you can't have Mr. Glass backing up Mr. Glass. And I'm being funny in that, but you know what I'm trying to say there. And yeah, that's--

- Or trying to be.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, yeah. Well, either way, but that's where Mike White, that's the biggest adjustment he has to make. Like we saw in some of those clips at the end, the demotion is a little long at times to when he has people bearing down on him he doesn't get it out quick enough. And then two, he's just got to protect himself a little bit.

Now, this offense, I think, will help him that way because we know it's got bells and whistles and more ways to get the ball out of your hands, and throw the ball 3-feet so the guy can run 80 yards. They got more of that stuff than anybody. So that's where life will change. But it's a team in their division who's seen a lot of crossover film, and they paid him pretty good money to be a backup. They liked what they saw from Mike White, and I think that's why the Dolphins got him.

- Yeah. Look, and Mike McDaniel, who currently is trying to coach Tua Tagovailoa to a place where he's keeping himself healthy, maybe you slap number one and number two together. It's the same coaching points. It's the same instruction. Maybe he gets them to compete with each other on this basic question of who can get rid of the football before they get hit. That's what we're trying to make both of you guys better. You got to get rid of the football before you get hit. That's the way to avoid getting injured at the quarterback position in the NFL.