Should fans get excited to see what wide receiver Eric Decker brings to the table in his second year with the New York Jets? As we continue our way through the off season and work our way to training camp at the end of the month, we here at The Jet Press will be evaluating all the players entering training camp.
With all the changes to the Jets receiving corps over the last several months, Decker has been shifted to second fiddle in the pecking order with Brandon Marshall‘s arrival. But that seems to be just fine with him during a one-on-one interview with Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday, here is a quote from her article:
“Coach always tries to put you in the best position. But on any team, to have more weapons, guys that can make plays, it does become easier,” Decker told Newsday during a one-on-one interview Tuesday. “He’s one of those guys that has proven it for so long. When you hear the name ‘Brandon Marshall,’ I mean, he’s one of the best. I would say that he definitely makes me a better receiver already because I get to be the 1-2 punch with him.”
Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
In 2015, Decker ended up starting 15 games for the Jets last year. Even in the 15 games he started, Decker didn’t always look 100%. He only had two games over 100 yards last season and struggled mightily being ‘the guy’ last year. The final stat line doesn’t look terrible, but much of that can be attributed to a stat sheet stuffer in the final game of the season.
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In the season finale against the Miami Dolphins, Decker caught 10 passes for north of 220 yards receiving and a touchdown reception. Which put him just 40 yards short of a 1,000 yard campaign. Which would’ve been the first 1,000 yard receiver for the Jets since 2007.
In that same interview with Newsday earlier, Decker mentioned how this move last year would’ve paid major dividends.
” . . . Obviously, would I say yes I would have liked to have that kind of move last year? Oh, 100 percent. It would have made the transition that much easier,” said Decker, who caught 74 passes for 962 yards and five touchdowns while nursing a hamstring injury for much of the season. “But bottom line, I knew what was going on and believed in what we had here.”
The Jets made the controversial trade to bring Percy Harvin on board, but the move didn’t pan out. As the Jets decided to cut the mercurial receiver to see him tag-along with Rex Ryan on his way to Buffalo, Marshall is clearly an upgrade over him. So what can we expect out of Decker heading into training camp?
We can expect him to be in a more comfortable situation. Similar to the situation Decker had in Denver where he caught 222 passes for 3,070 yards and 38 touchdowns during his four years. Now he doesn’t have to be the main guy, but can be more than effective in his role as the No. 2 option on the Jets’ wide receiver depth chart.