|12-03-2011, 07:55 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2010
Decker heads for home ... against Vikings
St. Cloud Times
When Eric Decker entered his first NFL season in 2010, he was still recovering from offseason foot surgery. The former Rocori and University of Minnesota standout wide receiver felt far from full-strength.
But what a difference a year makes.
Fully healthy from the start this fall, Decker has emerged as an integral part of the Denver Broncos’ offense. Through his team’s first 11 games, he has 37 catches for 527 yards and eight touchdowns.
“For me, the difference between last year and this one has been night and day,” said Decker, whose team (6-5) visits the Metrodome to take on the Vikings (2-9) at noon Sunday.
“I’m more confident both physically and mentally. I felt like I came into training camp on an all-time high, and each week I’m learning how to do something even better.”
Decker also has found himself playing a prominent role in one of the more high-profile storylines in the NFL this season: the emergence of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
The publicly devout Tebow — also in his second NFL season — tends to draw strong reaction from fans and the media.
But since he took over as the starter in Denver, the Broncos have gone 5-1. This despite the fact Tebow has completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
He has seemed to develop some chemistry with Decker, though. The pair connected on three passes for 67 yards — including an 18-yard touchdown catch — in a win over San Diego last week.
“We try not to listen to outside chatter — good or bad,” Decker said of the hype that Tebow has generated. “We’re just focused on doing what we have to do to be successful. (Head coach John) Fox does a good job of keeping us on track and doing what we need to do.
“Tim is a guy who is always going to generate a lot of talk. But he handles it very well. And he understands that the next game in front of us is where all of our focus has to lie.”
As a rookie last season, Decker had just six catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. His increased production this season has brought increased recognition.
“Denver is a very football-loving area,” Decker said. “Football is really cherished out here and it’s the best part of playing in a place like this. People get excited for every game we play. It’s a big deal to the fans, and they know all the players. So when you go out in town, people do recognize you. But that’s a positive thing.”
Even with his NFL success, Decker has managed to keep on top of events in his old hometown. The Rocori football team — quarterbacked by his stepbrother Nate Meyer — won the Class 4A state title last Saturday at the Metrodome.
“That was exciting,” said Decker, who attended a Rocori game in person on his bye week in mid-October. “The first football championship in school history. It was great to see.
“I played with one of the assistant coaches when I was in high school. So it was crazy to see him on the sidelines coaching now. It was really fun to watch.”
Now Decker will be back in the Metrodome himself — the same stadium that served as his home field during his first three seasons with the Gophers.
“It’s exciting to come home and to get the chance to play in front of my family,” Decker said. “Minnesota means a lot to me. I’m proud to be from the state and it will be nice to get back there again.”
|12-03-2011, 08:11 PM||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Park Hill
I was one of the fools who said he reminded me of another good old #87 last year!
|12-04-2011, 12:01 AM||#4|
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arcadia, CA
|12-04-2011, 05:58 AM||#6|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jul 2006
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