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Jets RBs Look Ahead: Michael Carter Ready to Build on 'Physical' Culture Set in 2021

Rookie Led Green & White in Rushing Yards in 2021; Most Backs Under Contract for 2022 Season

Table inside Article
Jets Player GP-GS-DNP-IA OSnaps-STSnaps
Michael Carter 14-11-0-0 449-8
Ty Johnson 16-3-0-1 409-95
Tevin Coleman 11-5-0-5 180-34
Nick Bawden (FB) 9-1-0-0 57-166
Austin Walter 4-0-1-2 55-1
La'Mical Perine 4-0-0-13 24-20
Josh Adams 1-0-0-2 0-11

No Longer on Roster: Adams

Potential Free Agents in 2022
Unrestricted: Coleman, Bawden

'22: Michael Carter Helping Create 'Family' Environment; Wants Aggression on Field
The Jets are in a good spot at running back with Michael Carter leading the pack. Carter, a fourth-round pick in 2021, emerged as the team's lead back and finished 64 yards shy of breaking 1,000 scrimmage yards. No matter who the Green & White add to the room throughout the offseason, Carter will be a key fixture in the team's offense in 2022.

"The culture that we're building right now is so physical," he told senior team reporter Eric Allen. "We try to put that on tape every time. Win, lose, draw, we try to be as violent as possible and try to have the best technique. Another thing is do your job, but then once you know your job, how far can you expand it to make the big play? We're trying to have that family environment even though sometimes it's hard to do. No matter who comes in and out, if someone comes in, we're locked in. We're family. It's all about trying to create that family environment."

The team's running backs room could look similar in 2022 -- Ty Johnson, Austin Walter and La'Mical Perine also remain under contract -- depending on the moves GM Joe Douglas makes in the offseason.

See the best images of Jets Running Backs during the 2021 season.

'21: Lead Horse Emerges From Pack
When looking at the Jets running backs last training camp, most expected a by-committee approach in the backfield, which happened to a degree. Carter, Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson each had at least 60 carries, but Carter emerged as the team's lead back.

The rookie led the team with 147 rushes, 639 yards (4.3 avg) and 4 rushing touchdowns. He also led the running backs with 36 catches, but Johnson led the backs with 372 receiving yards and 2 TDs on 34 receptions. Carter had 325 yards. Carter took his game to another level in Weeks 7-11 before sustaining an ankle injury, averaging 101 scrimmage yards per game (53 rushing yards, 48.8 receiving yards).

"For me, personally, I think it was after we played New England the first time," he said about when he began to feel comfortable. "I was like, 'OK, I can do something with this.' We played Carolina and I'm not going to lie, I was like, 'Man, it's going to be like this every week?' I think over time, we got better as a team, we just jelled better and better and we've had really great moments and moments we can improve on."

Johnson also did some good things for the Green & White 2021, showing off his burst and speed as well as some pop finishing his runs. He did, however, have some drops -- one in each of the team's first three possessions against the Saints in Week 14. After the game, Johnson took responsibility and said: "They hit my hands, I dropped them. What else is there to say? I can make those catches and I believe in myself to make those catches. But I just didn't get my eyes to the ball and look it all the way in. I told Zach [Wilson] that was completely on me. … If it touches my hands, I need to bring them in. Simple as that."

Coleman, the elder statesmen of the bunch, continued to show his gas throughout the season. The Green & White also incorporated Austin Walter, a quicker back, who found some success.

RB Trivia
The Jets' rushing attack took off around midseason at home against Miami. In the first 10 weeks of last season, they were 30th in the NFL in rush yards/game (76.3) and 29th in yards/carry (3.60). In the final eight weeks, they were 12th in rush yards/game (122.5) and second in yards/carry (5.19).

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