Mike White made ‘easy things look easy’ for the Jets, and it could cost Zach Wilson the locker room

In most quarterback debates, there is always an economy of language developing within teams. Players become more brief about what they prefer in a particular midfielder’s skills. Coaches tend to be more candid about what goes right or wrong in the position. At the end, a chosen conductor emerges from the locker room choir.

This escalation rarely happens after one successful match. In the case of the New York Jets, it certainly looks like it happened. So much so, that in one 31-10 Jets-led win over the undefeated Chicago Bears, freshman quarterback Mike White may have won the entire locker room.

In turn, Zach Wilson may have lost it – although there is an argument that Wilson has been steadily losing parts of himself for weeks. Perhaps the majority of that drain happened last week, when Wilson responded with a stern “no” when asked if he felt like he let the defense down in the wake of a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots. As Wilson finally discovered when coach Robert Salih was on the bench, it’s one offense to struggle to keep up with a defense that’s ready for the final game, and it’s quite another to lack the self-awareness to understand when you’re hurt. same unit.

When a quarterback displays this kind of ignorance, he puts the throne of leadership within reach. After Sunday, White took a seat in that throne and the rest of the roster looked poised to hoist him on their shoulders for the rest of the season.

Keep in mind that one week ago, wide receiver Garrett Wilson was saying of the Jets offense: “This is a s*** sorry. We’re out here feeling sorry and we know we’re not sorry. That’s why it really hurts. We know we’re better than we are.” that “.

Skilled Jets players, like wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17), certainly seemed excited that Mike White was the starting quarterback on Sunday. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

One week later, Wilson would finally gush about the offense by tapping into White’s setup and execution. Widespread Elijah Moore, whose being with Zack Wilson seemed broken, left the field and told SNY television cameras “It’s real New York Jets football,” then joked in the locker room about rediscovering his connection to football as players around him serenaded him for being “free.” once again.

And what about defense? Linebacker CJ Mosely talked about the game being fun, while cornerback Sauce Gardner told reporters about the positive vibes in the franchise throughout the week.

That vibe seemed to be everywhere by Sunday night, in videos, interviews and spread on players’ social media accounts. It was a far cry from a week ago when players would explain away how they “liked” tweets that appeared to be critical of Wilson’s behavior after the Patriots’ loss.

All of this may be attributed to nothing more than the players expressing their delight at the dominant win and the midfielder helping balance out complementary football – except for one phrase from Salih that stood out. While it may not have been a direct shot at Wilson, Salih seemed to echo some of his earlier problems when he talked about how White executed the offense so easily. The same offense that basically had to be polished off last season to prevent Wilson Cannon from getting too caught up in the details.

“He didn’t need it to be anyone but Mike White,” Saleh said. “We didn’t need to turn into the greatest show on the turf. We just wanted him to play within himself and play efficiently. I thought he did. … He made the easy look easy.”

All the positivity and applause for White is great considering the Jets know his big day came against a Bears minor league that has been obliterated by injuries. White’s numbers are certainly fat compared to Wilson’s last few games: 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns, and an impressive player rating of 149.3. What distinguishes those three fleeting touches most? Wilson has four in total this season. in Seven Started.

It is also notable how White did it. There was nothing too complicated about it. He pulled off a bunch of short, easy passes efficiently, fit a few handsome balls into tough spots, and let players do the dirty work on some mid-level passes that turned into big plays. He spread the ball around 10 different players and breathed life into some receivers who had basically been in the scrap heap for months.

When I listened to White, it certainly didn’t seem like this happened by accident. If anything, it seemed like the kind of drive the franchise was hungry for.

“The way I personally approach the quarterback position is there is a lull in the crowd, especially when things aren’t going well,” White told reporters. “Because that’s when things can start to spiral and snowball. It’s just handing out the ball and letting them be themselves. They’re all in the locker room for a reason. This is the NFL. Everyone who wears the pads has a day.” Sunday is very good. You just have to get on the ball and get their confidence back.”

There is no doubt that confidence was pouring in on Sunday. There is less doubt that White appears to be the only person who can now afford to start the business. Wilson wouldn’t be forced back into the lineup after seeing the team’s reaction to White. Not to mention the fact that he made the players around him better, not worse.

Wilson couldn’t say that much this season. Maybe never. That’s why this locker room is clearly following someone else to Minnesota next week. And maybe further.

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