<
>

Eric Decker likes what he sees from Geno Smith

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Eric Decker was arguably the star of the New York Jets' practice on Wednesday, making several catches, including a long touchdown early in the session.

He's working against a very different secondary than the one he faced in practice a year ago -- Pro Bowl cornerbacks Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie are now covering him much of the time -- and Decker thinks that's a plus.

"It’s great," Decker said. "You go against the best in the league, it makes you better. The competition is greater, and it’s just gonna make you a better football player."

The quarterback throwing to Decker, Geno Smith, is the same. But Decker sees some changes in the third-year man from West Virginia.

"It’s continued growth,' Decker said. "Since the offseason he’s done a good job of his accountability, his discipline, how he watches tape, how he comes to practice, accountability toward his teammates, making sure we’re all doing the right thing, on the same page.

"He’s definitely taking that leadership role. [We're] just kind of watching him grow every day. He’s definitely done a terrific job."

It was another day without an interception from Smith, which is certainly a good sign.

"He’s a guy that's on the right track," Decker said. "He’s made some really good decisions throughout camp, and if he continues to do that he’s gonna have success."

The addition of a Pro Bowler at wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, should help Smith. Decker thinks it'll help his own game, too.

"That competitive fire we both have pushes one another in practice," Decker said. "If he gets a big grab, I wanna come back and get one, and all those things. We feed off one another."

Decker's numbers dipped in his first year in New York. After posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Broncos in 2012 and 2013 -- including double-digit touchdowns each time -- Decker finished with just 962 yards and only five touchdowns in 2014.

But remember, a future Hall of Famer was throwing to Decker in Denver.

"I don’t compare one offense to the other. It’s completely different," Decker said. "We’ve got a third-year quarterback compared to a 15-year quarterback. The fact that Peyton Manning was in the same offense for all those years, and Geno I think is on his third or fourth now, you can’t make comparisons. But we have an opportunity to put a good team together."