General manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles wanted a faster defense in 2016 and linebacker Bruce Carter fits the mold.
"At the linebacker position, most of the time you get guys who are real big run stuffers, but the game has changed to more of a passing game," Carter said. "You have to have guys who can go out there and cover, run, be fast, blitz, get sacks and do everything. That's really what a linebacker is. That's what I really bring and I feel like Coach Bowles believes in me as a player to help this team."
One of five 'backers in the NFL to record at least five interceptions since 2008, Carter's speed and coverage ability attracted the Jets. The UNC product picked off the quarterback a career-high five times in 2014 as a member of the Cowboys and even took one to the house.
"Obviously tackles for loss are always great," he said. "But when you get an interception, it really changes the game. It gives the offense another possession to score. I'm kind of 50/50 on which I like more, but it all comes with the job."
The 6'2", 240-pounder may be recognized more for his speed, but his versatility is not overlooked. He has been working primarily with the second team alongside rookie Darron Lee. Carter led a goal line stand in Saturday's practice, stuffing running back Romar Morris behind the line of scrimmage on first down. Now, however, he's ready for some fresh meat.
"I'm pumped, I can't wait," he said in regard to Thursday's preseason opener against Jacksonville. "We've been hitting each other for so long it's kind of getting old. So being able to hit somebody else is going to be great."
Jets Set for Preseason Opener Against Jags