WR Eric Decker Ready to Make His Mark with Titans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eric Decker arrived to his first press conference in Nashville wearing a 615 hat.

Then reporters asked him for the 411 on his new team, the Titans.

What do you think of quarterback Marcus Mariota? How are you from a health standpoint? What do you think about the team's receiving corps? How good can the Titans be in 2017?

"(I am) very excited,'' said Decker, signed by the Titans in June. "It was kind of a tough transition, getting released late in the offseason (by the Jets) in June, and then trying to figure out where my next home is going to be. I had about five teams I spoke to but Tennessee was the first to call and was really the most interested.

"Everything about it worked perfect for me."

Decker is familiar with Nashville, and its 615 area code. He's had a home in the area for years, which "takes a lot of stress off."

Now, he's getting more and more familiar with the Titans.

A third-round pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft, Decker has 385 career receptions for 5,253 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns in seven seasons. He has three 1,000-yard receiving seasons in his career, including a 1,288-yard season in 2013. He's also turned in 12 100-yard performances.

When the Jets released him, he opted to sign a one-year deal in Tennessee. Decker was limited to three games last season, placed on injured reserve on October 12 before undergoing hip and shoulder surgeries. Decker returned to the team's offseason program, however, as a full participant. He said on Friday he's healthy, and ready to go.

"I feel great,'' Decker said. "This is the best I've felt in quite some time. I had a few lingering injuries last year that unfortunately had to be taken care of. Being away from the game was hard … (and) having to watch it from home and on crutches. But it kind of fueled my fire a little bit. I had a great offseason and got to spend time with my family but got some extended time to work physically and get in good shape."

Decker was able to work with Mariota and some of the Titans away from the facility leading up to camp.

He said he's looking forward to being teammates with Mariota.

"I always knew he was a dynamic quarterback," Decker said. "He can really throw and run and he had a successful college career. I thought he did really well as a young quarterback in the NFL to play and manage the way he did last year especially. I think he throws an unbelievable ball, and he has this attitude and demeanor about him that you can tell he is going to have a lot of success in this league. I am excited just to get more time with him. Throughout these next few weeks when we are in film study and on the football field I'll get learn a lot about him."

Decker has a nice track record himself.

Since 2012, Decker's 43 receiving touchdowns rank fifth in the NFL and his 4,535 receiving yards rank 18th. His 33 red zone touchdown receptions are the second-highest total in the NFL over that time period. Between 2012 and 2015, Decker averaged 82 receptions for 1,085 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Decker joins a group that already includes veteran Rishard Matthews, who led the team in receptions and receiving yards last season. The Titans drafted Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick of the draft, and also selected Taywan Taylor in the third round. Others, like Harry Douglas, Tajae Sharpe and Tre McBride also return, and will compete.

Decker spent his first four seasons with the Broncos before joining the Jets in 2014. Decker led the Jets with 74 receptions for 962 yards and five touchdowns in 2014. In 2015, Decker had 80 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Decker said he likes the group in Tennessee, and he's looking forward to seeing where the season goes. He said he prides himself with being able to play a number of positions, "and I want to fit in and help any way I can."

"I love the energy,'' Decker said. "I just want to win some football games and I think this team has a lot of capability to do that."

TitansOnline.com looks back at the NFL career of veteran WR Eric Decker. (AP Photos)

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