Thursday, March 13, 2014

Decker well-aware of QB transition but up to task


There's only one Peyton Manning. Eric Decker knows that.

The former Denver Broncos wide receiver signed a pretty hefty five-year contract with the New York Jets Wednesday night, and with that, will now be catching passes from second-year quarterback Geno Smith.

It will be a transition, to say the least, but one Decker says he's prepared for.

"I did research; I didn't go into our meeting today blind," Decker told The Denver Post Wednesday. "When you go from a Hall of Fame quarterback, no one else, no matter who it is, can be on the same level."

Decker, however, felt offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's visible belief in Smith was telling, and Decker pointed to Smith's peak at the end of the year as a good sign.

"When you look at the statistics, yeah, he got off to a slow start, but he was hurt early on and he finished the season strong," Decker said. "He improved all season long in a tough market. That's pretty impressive."

Decker thrived as a No. 2 receiver for Manning the past two seasons, hauling in 172 receptions and 24 touchdowns in that span. He also put up good numbers in 2011 catching passes from Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow to the tune of 44 receptions and eight touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Smith struggle through a good part of the middle of his rookie season but finished on a high note. During the team's 3-1 season-ending stretch, Smith amassed seven total touchdowns to just two interceptions, with no turnovers in the final two games.

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