Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker asserts he’s been working out with new QB Peyton Manning for roughly three weeks and there’s “no doubt” that Manning’s arm strength is sufficiently good to start in the NFL. NFL scores
Manning is getting over a neck issue that made him miss the entire 2011 season and finally forced the Indianapolis Colts to release their franchise icon rather than pay him a $28 million bonus. Manning then signed with the Broncos on March 20 after a whirlwind courtship period involving several teams. NFL odds
Decker said that he hasn’t seen something in the training programs that could lead him to believe Manning’s arm strength has decreased due to 4 surgeries on his neck.
“The guy’s still throwing the ball a considerable time, throwing it fantastic, hitting you in the right spot,” Decker said. “He’s such a perfectionist. If he hits you in the belly button, he gets angry at himself for not hitting you in the chest. It’s unbelievable to be close a fellow who has those standards for himself.”
Decker asserted he met Manning when the league’s only 4-time MVP came to visit the Broncos’ facility during his short free agency period.
“I’d been up there working out with some of my colleagues and just kind of introduced myself to him,” Decker said.”… When I got to meet him face to face, the man is merely a class act. A different person. [It's] exclusive to be close a guy of that prominence and his ability to play football.”
Decker recounted Manning’s popularity is well-deserved.
“He’s so precise with all he does and there’s a reason for all he does do,” Decker asserted. “In training programs, in the weight room — I mean the guy’s jogging from station to station. He’s working like he’s a 23-year-old independent agent coming out of college. The way that he talks about football, the way that he runs drill work, routes, everything’s got to be perfect and there is no grey area. I suspect that, as a receiver, [is] the nicest thing about it. You got a leader that demands the best of you as he gives the best he’s got.”
The 25-year-old Decker caught 44 passes for 612 yards and 8 touchdowns while working with quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow in Denver last season.
Even though he was not the prototypical pocket passer, Tebow rose from 3rd on the depth chart last season to replace Orton and lead the Broncos to a stunning AFC West title. The Broncos also upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Jan. playoff game when Tebow delivered a stadium-rocking, 80-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime.
Tebow was a casualty of the Manning signing and was traded to the NY Jets only days after Manning 1st donned his orange No. 18 jersey. Decker related the run with Tebow was “pretty amazing,” but he and Manning want to lead Broncos to their 1st Super Bowl title since present team manager John Elway led them to back-to-back titles in 1997 and ‘98.