NFL

Jets HC Robert Saleh impressed with quarterback Mike White 'mastering the obvious'

By Sports Desk November 27, 2022

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh was thrilled with the nuance and subtlety displayed by new starting quarterback Mike White as he led a dominant 31-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

White was making his first start of the season after the benching of last year's second overall draft pick Zach Wilson, and he looked right at home running the offense.

He completed 22 of his 28 passes for three touchdowns and no turnovers, reaching 31 points in the third quarter before putting the cue in the rack.

Two of those touchdown passes were caught by impressive rookie Garrett Wilson, with the third going to Elijah Moore, who came into the contest with just 16 scoreless receptions for the season.

Speaking to the media after the win, Saleh pointed to White's ability to run the offense smoothly and play within himself.

"He did a great job," he said. "He didn't need to be anybody but Mike White.

"We didn't need to turn into the greatest show on turf – we just needed him to play within himself and play efficient, and he did that.

"Especially in the elements, he made the easy look easy. I thought he did a really good job of… mastering the obvious. He's really good at doing his job, he gets rid of the ball, he gets it where it needs to get to.

"I thought our O-Line did a great job of protecting him, and when he needed to be aggressive, he was aggressive.

"Any time you have success there's reinforcement, but I don't think there's a guy in the locker room who didn't think he would perform today."

Saleh was also impressed with how White got his receivers involved, including Moore, whose lack of targets from Wilson prompted a trade request at the deadline.

"We have a lot of good players who are worthy of the ball," he said. "It was good to see Elijah [Moore] get some production – and it was the same with all our receivers, we have a plethora of them.

"[Moore] has always been a great kid. I know whatever happened with the trade request – that's not him.

"I feel like he's been working his tail off, being patient and trusting the process. He is focusing on the things he has control over, and it's good to see him get that production."

White, who was making the fifth start of his career, told reporters it was special to hear the New York crowd chanting his name, and that he is looking forward to getting another chance next week against the Minnesota Vikings.

"It's always cool," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and give you some quarterback cliche that I'm not focusing on [the chanting]. 

"There are times that I'm not [thinking about it] – I think it would be a lot cooler if they didn't do it while we were trying to snap the ball – but no, I'm not going to complain about that.

"I thought today was a complete team win – our defense did what they always do, they dominated. They flew around the field, made big plays, turned the ball over.

"We ran the ball well when we needed to, late in the game we could have just hung it up, but we kept the run going and guys were running hard.

"I feel good, obviously. It was a good game for the offense. I'll enjoy this one with my friends and family, and then tomorrow turns into Minnesota prep, and we turn the page."

The win improves the Jets' record to 7-4, one game behind the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins for the AFC East lead.

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