The Jets’ Mike White needs to block out the memory of last year’s Bills meltdown

If you were worried about Mike White getting nervous before the top-seeded Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., you only had to interact with him in the locker room on Thursday when he spoke to reporters.

Disgruntled with his role at the start of the season, Elijah Moore was so unhappy with his role that he demanded to be replaced, playfully nods to White’s snobbery and, playing fake reporter, asks his quarterback, ” What do you think about the receiver group? Here?”

“Right, so we have a really good group of receivers,” White said with a smile. “There’s Garrett there [Wilson]There is a “CD”. [Corey Davis]Braxton [Berrios]There is Irwin Charles [on the practice squad]there’s Diontae Spencer [practice squad]there is [Tyler] Conklin — no, Conklin’s in serious condition… um… here’s Elijah Moore, we forgot about him.

“Is there a particular receiver you’re stuck with?” I asked White, referring to Moore’s complaints earlier this season about his lack of goals.

“Yeah, that’s a dude named Elijah Moore,” White said. “He’s always there and never shuts up.”

The mood in the Jets locker room four days before a rematch with the 9-3 Bills was light — especially for White, whose other meeting with Buffalo was a four-game shutout in a 45-17 loss last season, and it was his ended its short-term activity. starter in place of the injured Zach Wilson.

White’s primary role now is a completely different scenario than it was last season. He’s the starter because he’s played better than Wilson, so this time it won’t be for a while — not when Wilson is healthy again, but in his own game.

Mike White calls the play during the Jets' loss to the Vikings.
Mike White calls the play during the Jets’ loss to the Vikings.
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The important thing for White to do against the Bills is to not let last season’s loss affect his performance against them this time around.

“You can’t play hero ball,” White said. You can’t go in there saying, “I want to get revenge for what happened last year.” What happened last year is over. It’s a different scenario, a different team.”

White showed a sense of humor when asked how he felt about coming back to Buffalo “given what happened a year ago.”

“What happened a year ago?” White stopped dead before smiling, “I messed with you.”

White said he “learned a lot” from last season’s game against the Bills. “But I tried my best to close the book on it and move on,” he said.

White was asked how long it took him to get over that game — especially since it was his last start in 2021, and there’s no guarantee he’ll ever start again.

“Too far,” he said. “It’s going to be one of the things that stays with me the longest. As an athlete, if you play a sport long enough, you’re going to have those plays no matter what. I have plays from high school that I still think about. It will always be a part of my development as a quarterback. I don’t want him to beat me twice.”

Veteran Jets backup Joe Flacco said this week that he expected White to have thoughts about last year’s Buffalo game in his head.

“I’m sure it’s not on his mind, but there’s a mindset of, ‘OK, I want to go out now and beat these guys and go out there and prove that I can do it,'” Flacco told The Post. “No matter what level you’re at, you have to be able to prove that to yourself. Usually, those things are motivators — one of the many little things that push you to be the best. I think he’s in a good place mentally.” .”

Jets coach Robert Saleh said he remembers White’s “huge growth spurt” in the Buffalo game and recognizing some of the things he played and did helped him find ways to get better.

Mike White
Mike White

Some people are rooting for Saleh to anoint White as the Jets’ regular starter. Salih handled it brilliantly, allowing him to breathe and play.

On Thursday, I asked White if it was important to tell him he was the regular starter.

“I think it’s more important to live in the moment,” White said. “Once you start worrying about other things, your mind gets distracted and you lose focus on the task at hand. All I can think about is the game we played that week and knowing there are 52 other guys in the locker room that I want to go out there and play well and give them a chance to win the game and move on I want to give and see where this takes us.

“Listen, [my future as starter] far from my mind now. It’s a game, it’s a tough preparation, and if you start to surprise yourself, that’s when you’re in a bad spot.”

A place like Buffalo last year.


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