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Is Eric Decker poised for breakout season?

By Luis Tirado Jr.
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets fans surround New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) after he scored a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets fans surround New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) after he scored a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
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Wide receiver Eric Decker of the New York Jets is entering his third season with the team and is poised for a breakout year thanks to the talent surrounding him.

As the New York Jets work out the kinks of their overall roster for the upcoming season, all eyes will be on how efficient their offense will be. It’s no secret that the Jets face a brutal schedule in 2016 but the truth of the matter is they have the talent to be competitive. Their offense has most of their weapons returning from last season and has some new faces ready to turn the Jets into an NFL Playoff team.

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Despite playing against some tough defenses early on in the season, their offense can once again be dominant. With the return of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, he’s the catalyst for making the Jets’ offense thrive. When it comes to wide receiver Eric Decker, he’s in a great situation to truly put up a blockbuster year.

Considering the wide receiver corps of the Jets is the best it’s been in quite some time, Decker has an opportunity to step up and lead the pack. Last year, Decker totaled 1,027 receiving yards, 80 receptions, and 12 touchdowns.

Decker was always considered a No. 2 kind of slot receiver as when the Jets originally acquired him in free agency back in 2014, he was brought in to be a primary receiving option. While his first year with the Jets yielded respectable numbers to the tune of 962 receiving yards, 74 receptions, and five touchdowns, he didn’t rise to the challenge.

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It’s nothing against Decker really, he is built to thrive in a supportive role on offense and creates great mismatches once he finds the right matchups.

Problem is, he needed a partner in crime to help give him those situations to keep those chains moving.

Once the Jets acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall last year via trade, it was exactly what Decker needed to play to his strengths.

Marshall, on the other hand, is a true No. 1 receiving option and proved it every step of the way in 2015. Last year, Marshall broke the franchise record for receptions at 109 while totaling 1,502 receiving yards and a career-high 14 touchdowns.

Throw in wide receivers like Quincy Enunwa, Kenbrell Thompkins, Charone Peake and the emerging Jalin Marshall, one can only imagine the damage Decker will do with better talent around him.

Head coach Todd Bowles continues to give praise to Decker for always honing his craft and doing everything he can to push himself towards greatness. Here’s what Bowles had to say recently about Decker, courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:

On how comforting it is to have Eric Decker…

He’s a good pro. He’s a good professional. Sometimes he goes overlooked when you think of Brandon (Marshall) and everybody else around him, but Deck comes to work every day. He’s a very intelligent ball player. He’s a physical ball player. He’s faster than you think he is and he’s very reliable. He’s a good example for the young guys.

On if Decker can become an even better player…

Yes, you have to try to become better every year. You have to get in better condition. You can do some things better than you did last year as far as reading routes and separating and doing those types of things, but he’s on the right track and he works at it.

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The creative mismatches that offense coordinator Chan Gailey can conjure will be amazing to see in 2016. Decker now has the opportunity to put up the best season of his career thanks to a returning cast of veterans and young receiving options ready to break even more records in 2016.

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