Skip to main content

Notebook | Jets Slot CB Michael Carter II: Underrated, but Not Unnoticed

QB Aaron Rodgers: ‘He’s a Pretty Damn Good Player’


No finer an adversary than Aaron Rodgers recently admitted the error of his ways in his evaluation of Jets slot cornerback Michael Carter II ahead of the Jets visit to Lambeau Field last season -- which ended in an impressive victory for the Green & White.

"I remember last year when [the Packers] played the Jets, we felt like we wanted to get after MC," Rodgers, now the Jets' signal-caller, said. "After the game, I think everybody was like, 'He's a pretty damn good player.' "

In that game, won by the Jets, 27-10, the Green & White defense sacked Rodgers 4 times, gave up a single TD pass and limited the team's new QB to an 88.1 rating. In the game, Carter II made 5 tackles.

Now Carter is still facing Rodgers -- in OTAs, training camp that starts in mid-July and then in practice -- after the four-time MVP ditched his No. 12 Packers jersey for No. 8 in Gotham Green.

"I think it's crazy invaluable just what me personally is able to get from him," Carter said. "Here with him talking with everyone about how he sometimes is disguising things and how he sees things, and how to be better at those things in coverage. Stuff like how to really trick a good quarterback into thinking he has one read and he really doesn't. We have to take lessons and I feel like it's invaluable."

The slot corner, who was selected by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Duke, has carved a niche for himself in a tenacious defense. As a unit, last season it improved to land among the top five defenses in the league. He played in all 17 games last season, taking 732 snaps (64%) on defense.

"I think the defense had some special things last year, now we have to strive to be our best, and get better every day," Carter said. "If we do that, get into these games, we will show it on Sunday. Thing is, we have to treat practice like a game."

Late in March, Carter went public on Twitter with his goals for the 2023 season: "Still underrated … I'll be the best nickel in the league in '23 the work is gonna show." The tweet has garnered more than 100,000 views.

Teamed with CBs D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner last season, Carter earned a 72.2 coverage grade from PFF and lowered his completion rate to 70.9% from 75.9% his rookie year. PFF also reported that he made 27 key defensive stops as a tackler, fifth on the entire defense.

 "Things are only going to go up," Carter said. "I still haven't reached my ceiling. Just getting better one thing day in and day out." He added: "The next step is anticipation and just trusting what I see."

Wes Schweitzer: Plug and Play
By now, it should not be a secret that when it comes to players on the offensive line, the Jets love guys who are versatile and willing to fill in wherever necessary.

Enter veteran OL Wes Schweitzer, who signed in free agency with the Jets after six years in the NFL -- three with Atlanta and three with Washington. Schweitzer, 29, has taken snaps at every offensive line position since being drafted by the Falcons in the sixth round in 2017 out of San Jose State. He's played left guard (2,219 snaps), right guard (1,979), center (430), left tackle (3) and right tackle (1).

"Things have been great," he said during OTAs. "I love the team, the facility, and the New Jersey area. I'm having a great time adjusting and fitting it."

In his most recent stop in the league, in the Nation's Capital, Schweitzer saw time at left and right guard, and at center.

In OTAs, Schweitzer got some first-team reps in OTAs at guard and at center. He joins a group that significantly increased its depth this spring.

"We have a good mix of veterans and young guys," he said. "A lot of hard workers and smart players. I'm excited about the future and about this group."

As is the case with his teammates on the OL, one of the top priorities is keeping Aaron Rodgers vertical and clean during the coming season.

"He's a very experienced veteran and he has expectations, a standard and we have to meet it," Schweitzer said. "He's not going to hold your hand and he raises the level of everyone. Every day, I'll walk in and try to not let him down and do the right thing."

See the top images of the Jets during the 2023 offseason program.

Adam Schein: Jets vs. 49ers in the Super Bowl
It's the time on the schedule of all 32 teams when all seems possible -- playoffs and beyond.

Adam Schein, a contributing columnist at, recently penned a "The Schein Nine" with a prediction that "Sam Darnold Beats Jets in Super Bowl."

Darnold, who was drafted by the Jets a few years ago, was traded to Carolina and is now with San Francisco.

"This is an attention-grabbing prediction, to say the least. But it's not unreasonable. At this point in time, it's what I feel."

He went on: "On the AFC side, I've been debating between the Bills and Jets as the conference's Super Bowl LVIII reps. But last week, I scored an exclusive interview with Aaron Rodgers on my SiriusXM Radio show. And with that chat still fresh in my mind -- particularly Rodgers' visualization of his Jets winning it all like the '86 Mets -- I am indeed drinking the Gang Green Kool-Aid. The Jets have an all-time quarterback, explosive weaponry and a top-five defense. It's not hard to envision a magical season reaching into February."