Michael Carter already emerging as Jets leader despite competition

It would have been easy for Michael Carter to get ticked off back in April when the Jets selected Breece Hall in the second round of the draft. 

Carter was coming off a promising rookie year in which he was the team’s leading rusher and emerged from part of a committee to lead back as the season went on. 

So, when coach Robert Saleh called him on that Friday night to tell him about Hall, a do-everything back himself from Iowa State, Carter could have sulked. Instead, he took the news in stride. 

“It doesn’t really matter,” Carter told The Post on Thursday. “I just think that I have to try to be the best. Who they take, who they draft, I guess you could make it my business, but at the end of the day, I want to be the best. They called me after. It wasn’t a big deal.” 

It was another moment that reminded Jets leadership of just how lucky they got to have Carter somehow tumble to them in the fourth round of the 2021 draft. Carter has not only been everything they could hope on the field, but also has emerged as a leader off the field. The 23-year-old acts much more like a 32-year-old. At one training camp practice, he put his arm around undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight after a mistake and coached him up. 

Carter does not view Hall as a threat to his job, but as someone he wants to help adjust to the NFL like he did last year. 

Michael Carter participates in drills at Jets training camp on Thursday.
Michael Carter participates in drills at Jets training camp on Thursday.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“The truth is I’m competing with myself,” Carter said. “I want to be the best in the world. I think that I can’t worry about who is to the left of me and who is to the right of me. I help them out because that’s the right thing to do, and I want to see everybody around me win.” 

Carter credits his parents, Tony Carter and Suzette Ellington, with shaping him. Both served in the Air Force, but Carter said it was not the military background who made them but his grandparents who deserve the credit. 

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