The press conference appeared to be over. Reporters had no more questions on Thursday for Jets running back Michael Carter.
Thing is Michael Carter wasn't finished. He had a few questions for the assembled group of scribes who had attended the second day of preseason training camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
"Hey, wait," Carter said. "I got a question. Who's got the answer?"
Entering his second NFL season, Carter has carved a niche for himself as one of the Green & White's most playful and engaging interview subjects. His veteran-like repartee rarely fails to elicit some chuckles.
So, after facing a battery of standard training camp questions, the kind he easily batted aside, Carter seemed unimpressed with the quality of the day's queries.
"Do you all come up with those questions the night before?" he said.
Carter smiled and then walked off the podium. The joyful back wants to do better as he prepares for Year 2 in an offense overseen by coordinator Mike LaFleur and that has a new component in rookie RB Breece Hall, drafted in the second round out of Iowa State this past April. Hall, who set multiple records in college and was rated by many as the top running back in the 2022 NFL Draft, had a strong day in the padless practice, flashing a move over the middle before veering outside as he showed off his agility, speed and peripheral vision. He also made a one-handed catch.
"He's been good," Carter said of Hall. "He asks a lot of questions, which I can appreciate. I did the same thing last year and just tired out TeCo [Tevin Coleman]. He was so tired of me. Now it's me just passing on the culture we're going to build. It's crazy. I had it last year, we're always all learning from each other. How can I put what he's doing into my game? That's how we all become better."
In nearly every respect, Carter is a team-first kind of guy. A couple of months ago he was asked about the prospect of sharing the pigskin with Hall, Coleman and perhaps several other running backs. Carter's response: "There's enough for us all to eat."
Players won't put on the pads until practice on Monday when Carter said that: "dogs will be dogs when it's time to play."
While acknowledging that the bill of fare is enough to accommodate all concerned, Carter is not näive enough to cede his prominent place in QB Zach Wilson's backfield. After playing in 14 games and rushing for 639 yards and 4 TDs and catching 36 passes (in 55 targets) for 325 yards, the Jets' running-back-by-committee approach will have to suit all.
"What Breece is doing or not doing is not my business," Carter said. "I just work on me. I'm focused on me and bringing others along with me. My goal is to be the best. I can't forget about my life, too.
A big part of being his best, Carter said, is to enhance his consistency rushing and receiving.
"I want to be more consistent," he said. "When you're talking about guys like Curtis Martin and how consistent he was. ... He'd take eight for nine straight reps in a row and then he was done. [Bill] Parcells knew he was special. [Martin] didn't even flinch. It shows his consistency, and he then transferred it to the game in multiple seasons. And now he has a gold jacket [signifying a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame].
"That's what I want to be in life, one of the best and one thing you need to improve is more consistency."
See the Green & White on the field during Day 2 of Jets Training Camp.