Welker led the NFL in total catches over the past six seasons as a slot receiving star. Decker broke out last season, his third in the NFL, while working with quarterback Peyton Manning. Decker had 85 catches for 1,064 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
Decker told reporters in Denver on Wednesday that he is not concerned about whether his numbers will go down because of the presence of Welker. Decker has his eyes set on the big picture.
“I think this year we’re trying to play faster and at a higher tempo to maybe get more plays in,” Decker said. “Ultimately, there may be some passes or targets that are taken away but in the grand scheme of things it’s about winning football games. I want to get to the world championship. I want to have a ring on my finger. If that’s the case -- if I lose some catches, if I lose some yards -- it really isn’t a big deal to me personally because of what our ultimate goal is here.”
Decker said he is impressed by Welker already.
“He mixes in really well,” Decker said. “He’s a great guy and a great player -- we all know that. A stand-up guy, fun to be around, works hard. He likes to have fun in the meeting rooms and in the locker room which is huge for what we’re trying to build here.
“He’s got some toughness. I think just watching film on him, the way he blocks in the running game is going to be huge because [we] want to get better in that area. I think just his ability to catch and run after the catch and score touchdowns -- he’s a guy that you’re going to have to watch on defense. I don’t think they can key in on anyone specifically offensively just because I do think we have a lot of threats. The way we plan to run the football, it’s going to be a pretty dynamic offense.”
Meanwhile, here are my thoughts on Manning’s plans for playing a faster offense in 2013.