Eric Decker has been called a product of Peyton Manning. But Decker’s numbers when Tim Tebow was quarterbacking the Denver Broncos could very well prove otherwise.
Rex Ryan said as much today, when he inadvertantly ripped Tim Tebow, his former quarterback, in attempt to praise his highly touted offseason acquisition of Eric Decker.
Eric was signed in the offseason to a deal worth $15 million in guarantees. But for many analysts around the league, what the New York Jets got was a number two receiver for number one receiver-type cash.
According to a blog on ESPN.com, one longtime personnel executive was quoted as having this to say about Decker as the Jets number one:
“I like Decker, but he’s a product of the quarterback…I see him catching 40 or 50 balls for the Jets. He’s not a game-breaker. That’s why it made no sense [to sign him]. They don’t have a quarterback that can help him be that kind of player.”
When the quarterback in question is Peyton Manning – and not Tim Tebow – you can see why many would assume Decker will not end up as the legitimate threat on the outside that he was with the Broncos. But those remarks also prompted Rex Ryan’s off-the-cuff rebuttal. Citing Decker’s numbers with Tim behind center, Rex Ryan told the media:
“He did catch eight touchdown passes when Tebow was the quarterback.”
But as ESPN.com pointed out, those numbers are a bit deceiving. Four of the eight touchdowns were actually caught when Kyle Orton was the quarterback. Nonetheless, Rex Ryan would not be deterred:
“Clearly, he is going to be a go-to guy,” Ryan said. “We know what we’re getting. This is going to be a guy that you can get him the ball in critical situations.”
Decker, in his first face-to-face with the New York Media, tried to steer the conversation away from the past, instead focusing on the positives surrounding his new situation:
“There are only so many greats that play the game,” Decker said of Manning. “He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, we all know that. My opportunity to play with him was tremendous — I took so much away from that experience — but I see a lot of talent in this quarterback room and I’m excited about growing with them.”
And as for the much maligned Tebow, his recent attempts at resurfacing in the NFL has not gone as planned. Tim recently took a job in broadcasting college football games as an analyst.
And as for Eric Decker, he begins his quest to prove he was worth the money the Jets dished out to sign him.