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Former Jet Says White’s Bengal’s Performance “Almost created a rift in the locker room”

Cincinnati Bengals v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Lamar Jackson who spent two years with the Jets between 2020-21 has been speaking about the Jets QB situation ahead of the game this weekend. Jackson who’s now with the Bears said:

“He went crazy,” said Bears cornerback Lamar Jackson, who was on the Jets’ practice squad last year. “It gave us a lift and almost created a rift in the locker room. Because the second overall pick is in the locker room [Wilson], and your backup throws for 400 yards, and now we’re thinking, ‘Something’s gotta happen.’

“I’m confident he’ll step into that role and play the best he can play. But it’s still up to us to defeat them. It’s going to be us vs. them. But I’ve got respect for Mike.”

Mike White’s jersey made it into the hall-of-fame following that performance against the Bengals, with the Jets upsetting Joe Burrow with a 405, 3 TD performance. He would struggle against the Bills throwing 4 interceptions before Wilson returned from a PCL injury he sustained against the Patriots.

This week the Jets decided to bench a fully fit Zach Wilson stating the need for a “reset”, with the #2 overall pick struggling to find consistent mechanics. Saleh confirmed that his decision to bench Wilson had nothing to do with an ill-advised comment by Zach following the defeat to the Patriots where he stated he didn’t believe he had let the defense down. Jackson understood how that comment could rub people the wrong way:

“I like Zach Wilson,’’ Jackson said, ‘‘but I can see comments about how he carries himself, a sense of arrogance. I could see how it could rub people the wrong way. When he’s good, he’s good, and when he’s bad, he’s bad. When you’re not the most likeable guy, of course when things are bad, everybody’s going to have a problem with you.”

“I can definitely tell you the locker room, they’re behind Mike White,” Jackson said. “He’s one of those guys that’s very likeable. I know everybody’s going to be trying to buy in and help him succeed just [because of] the type of guy he is. I know he has good respect over there.

“Guys are going to help Mike White make it happen. They kind of know the situation. There ain’t no telling how they really feel about Zach. A guy steps in that’s been there . . . I’m sure they’re all going to play hard for him.”

I found the comment “When you’re not the most likeable guy” quite an interesting one considering Jackson played with Wilson last season and spent considerable time around the facility with him. It could be reading too much into it and Jackson openly says he likes Zach, but the comments are interesting either way.