Mike White has seen a significant increase in his profile over the past calendar year. Because the previously unknown quarterback had a brush with unexpected stardom last October and November, fans sometimes recognize him on the street or at the mall and ask for a photo, which he obliges.
“Nothing crazy,” he said, but certainly an uptick from his practice-crew days.
The Jets’ backup quarterback says that, however, he didn’t see fans chanting his name during the second half of his team’s first week loss to the Ravens at MetLife Stadium.
“I didn’t really hear it at the time just because we’re locked into a game plan,” White said on Friday after practice at Florham Park. The Jets prepared for another week in QB with Joe Flacco. “When Joe is coming off the field, you are talking about what happened to him. When Joe is on the field, you are watching what happens. I don’t really pay attention to it.
“I wouldn’t say it’s weird. Fans chant things all the time.”
Fans chant for backup when the starter is struggling, as Flaco was during a game in which the Jets struggled to do anything aggressively. Head coach Robert Saleh called the safety issues, dropped passes and fumbles a “comedy of errors”, but the veteran Flacco was the face of mistakes.
The Jets, remembering the injured Zach Wilson, will give Flaco another try in Cleveland on Sunday, while his folk hero holds up the clipboard.
White took over for Wilson last season after the then-rookie suffered a knee injury. White gave the Jets the most shocking win of the year. Using an array of short passes, White threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns in Week 8, pulling off a stunner on a Bengals team that went on to reach the Super Bowl.
White hurt his forearm the following week and was not overly impressive in a week 10 blowout loss to the Bills, which he then handed to Wilson. White’s moment was over.
Maybe that was the surprise of a week, but not if you ask him. White said he still thinks he can be a starter in the NFL.
“Like last year, just had to wait for that time and got to capitalize on the opportunity,” the 27-year-old said. “Hopefully a [opportunity] Might lead in some more and gain some momentum. ,
If Flacco keeps faltering before Wilson returns, the Jets will have another quarterback dilemma—and a backup who always believes he can help.
He said, ‘You cannot play this position without confidence. You just can’t,” White said. “I think your teammates will see right through it, and they won’t be able to trust you.”