Mike White is officially the backup quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. In his first season with the 'Fins, White has made an impact on the coaching staff to earn the QB2 job behind Tua Tagovailoa, earning that spot ahead of Skylar Thompson.
Head coach Mike McDaniel spoke to the media about what went into the decision to make White the backup and complimented the 28-year-old for learning the Miami playbook as quickly as he has.
"[White is] really adhering to exactly what a backup quarterback needs to do," McDaniel said, continuing to describe the qualities of a good backup. "They'll all be active each day, but to be able to understand our system in such a short period of time that Mike White did and the command that he exudes in the huddle."
McDaniel noted that because the backup does not get as many reps or work as much with the starters it can be a difficult job. With how White has conducted himself since arriving to Hard Rock Stadium, the team feels confident in choosing him for the role.
"You're solving the imperfect puzzle as a backup quarterback where you don't get any of the reps during the week and have to master your situation your craft rep-less," the head coach said. "So I think relying on Mike White's veteran experience and really all the growth that he did this offseason made me feel pretty comfortable with that."
White played in the team's first preseason game, going 9-for-14 with 85 yards and one interception. He was put in concussion protocol after the staff noticed "irregularities," causing him to miss the final preseason game.
The Dolphins' quarterback room also includes Thompson, who was selected by the Dolphins in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
White has more NFL experience than Thompson, playing for the Dallas Cowboys to start his career in 2018, then joining the New York Jets from 2019 to 2022, before landing with the Dolphins this offseason. McDaniel noted this experience is part of the reason he feels confident choosing White.
McDaniel said the training camp quarterback battle "was kind of what we were hoping for," adding that both players "made cases" to earn the spot, but the experience and ability to learn quickly put White ahead.
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The former fifth round pick has played in eight NFL games in his career, starting seven, all with the Jets. In those games he has a 2-5 record, 191 completions on 307 attempts with 2,145 passing yards, eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Thompson, for comparison, has seven appearances, with two starts in his regular season career, with a 1-1 record, 60 completions on 105 attempts, 534 passing yards one touchdown and three interceptions.
Thompson was the team's third string quarterback his rookie year and ended up starting a playoff game against the Buffalo Bills when both Tagovailoa and the 2022 backup Teddy Bridgewater were sidelined.
White said his job and the job of any other quarterback on the team is to ensure the starter is ready for the next game.
"How a quarterback room works this time of year is it's all geared towards getting QB1 prepared," White said (via SI.com). "It's really whatever Tua needs, and it'll be a learning process because I haven't been with him before. We've created a pretty good dynamic in the quarterback room, so that process should be super easy."
Tagovailoa missed time last year due to at least two concussions, but has worked this offseason on learning how to fall while protecting his head, to help prevent injury during sacks.