Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lal making sure young Jets wideouts watch Decker


Sometimes, it's not so easy to recognize what's right in front of you.

Sanjay Lal, the New York Jets' wide receivers coach, has been using some film this offseason of Gang Green's prized free agent acquisition, Eric Decker, to show the youngsters how it's done.

But according to Lal, Decker wasn't necessarily a familiar face to everyone.

"In fact, I was showing one of the younger guys a clip, saying, 'You should run the route like this,'" Lal said last week, via NJ.com. "He didn't quite realize who it was. And he said, 'Oh, that's Decker?' We joked about it. I said, 'Now you're going to run it like that? Because you saw Decker do it?' He was, like, 'Yep.' It was like, 'OK.'"

Regardless of the film, Decker has made himself noticeable in front of the team's young receiver corps on the practice field. And while Decker is doing some learning of his own in a new system, he's been helpful as an extension of Lal.

The Jets have plenty of youth to wise up, with rookie pass-catchers Jace Amaro, Quincy Enunwa and Shaq Evans, in addition to third-year Stephen Hill, jockeying for position on the depth chart.

"If he's echoing what we're coaching and he's on the same page, it's great, because it always means more coming from from a player than a coach," Lal said. "And he has so far. It's a great tool to have, and then on top of that, he's a productive player."

Aside from the player coaching, Decker will be expected to lead the unit on game day, as well. The Jets signed the former hot target of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to a five-year deal, with $15 million in the first two years guaranteed.

In his first four seasons, Decker's reception-touchdown tally has progressed at a clip of 6-1, 44-8, 85-13, 87-11 despite his role as Denver's No. 2 receiver. The Jets can only hope he continues that trend, or at least comes close to matching his highly-productive output of the past couple years.

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