Some welcomed the youngster back with open arms while others remained frustrated with his actions. Wilson has often said the right thing throughout his professional career but there have been rumblings that he’s not a team player since college. Those rumors have never been proven, to be clear.
The only people that truly know the BYU product are the ones inside the locker room. Ahead of Week 12, a former NYJ contributor attempted to shed some light on the interesting dynamic between Wilson and his teammates.
Bears CB Lamar Jackson Opens up About Jets’ Zach Wilson
This morning on November 25, David Wyatt-Hupton of SB Nation shared quotes from former Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson, who was inside the locker room with both Wilson and Mike White. He’s now a member of the Chicago Bears secondary.
“I like Zach Wilson,” Jackson began, “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.”
Wilson does come from wealth, with an uncle that founded JetBlue Airlines. That fact is not a determiner of who he is as a person, however.
“When he’s good, he’s good, and when he’s bad, he’s bad,” Jackson continued. “When you’re not the most likable guy, of course when things are bad, everybody’s going to have a problem with you.”
It wasn’t a totally damning statement from the former Jet, but his opinion of White was noticeably different.
“I can definitely tell you [that] the locker room, they’re behind Mike White,” Jackson voiced. “He’s one of those guys that’s very likable. 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.”
Ironically, White is one of Wilson’s closest friends on the team by all accounts — as is wide receiver Braxton Berrios and tight end C.J. Uzomah. Although it’s never been confirmed publicly, the quarterback has appeared to have more trouble connecting with wideouts like Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore over their tumultuous tenure together.
Wilson also heard some constructive criticism from his offensive linemen a time or two during his rookie campaign but that was more so related to gameplay rather than personality. White has received nothing but praise during his moments in the spotlight.
“Guys are going to help Mike White make it happen,” Jackson concluded. “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.”
Jackson was a bigger part of the team in 2020 before Wilson was drafted, so it might be wise to take his words with a grain of salt. The NYJ castoff only appeared in one game for the franchise in 2021, joining the Bears after being cut loose from the practice squad in January of 2022.
Mike White Clears Zach Wilson’s Name
As we mentioned above, the two quarterback prospects are good friends and when the room turns on you, it takes a true pal to bail you out sometimes. That’s what White did this week when asked about Wilson.
“I’m friends with Zach Wilson first,” White told reporters after being named the starter, “He’s a great teammate, he’s a great dude, and this whole time, this situation [of being benched] is just showing that even more so. He’s been super supportive. It’s been the same guy.”
“I think that just shows the type of dude and type of teammate he is,” White concluded, “and we’d expect nothing less from him. That’s just kind of who he is, it’s what we’ve known to know him as, going over this past year and a half… no surprise from that.”
The curious case of Zach Wilson will continue beyond Week 12. For now, the inconsistent talent will have to grab his pom-poms and cheer on his buddy — as any good teammate would do.