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Jets WRs Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker an Odd Couple that just might click

This was an exchange that occurred in front of Brandon Marshall's locker last week at the New York Jets' minicamp:

Reporter: How is your relationship with Eric Decker?

Marshall: "Alshon?"

Reporter: No, Eric Decker.

Marshall: "Jeffery?"

Reporter: No, Decker.

Marshall: "Oh, Alshon."

No, Marshall doesn't have a hearing problem. He smiled, informing the assembled reporters his nickname for Decker is "Alshon" -- as in, Alshon Jeffery, his former sidekick with the Chicago Bears. In turn, Decker refers to Marshall as "Demaryius" -- as in, Demaryius Thomas, his former receiving partner with the Denver Broncos.

Got that?

"We have a good time, man," Marshall said. "Alshon is going to be good this year."

The Jeffery comparison is interesting on a couple of levels. Obviously, the Jets would love the Marshall-Decker tandem to be as productive as the Marshall-Jeffery duo was in 2013, before injuries slowed Marshall last year. But there's more to it. Much like Jeffery, Decker has a laid-back personality. He's not your typical wide receiver in that he doesn't seek the spotlight and doesn't complain when the ball doesn't come his way.

In other words, he might be the ideal complement to Marshall, who has a reputation for being a "diva." Nevertheless, he clicked with Jeffery, perhaps because Jeffery was deferential to him.

The Marshall-Decker dynamic will be fascinating because, after a year of being The Guy in the Jets' offense, Decker will slide into the No. 2 role. That might chafe some players, but the early sense is that Decker will be cool with the arrangement. He sees it as a win-win, saying their presence on the field together "will create more stress for the defense."

Marshall, too, sees positives.

"When it's Decker's turn to get the ball, I have to be selfless and run through the seam and carry coverage, run some dummy routes in the seam," he said. "When you're on a team with selfish guys, it makes it hard. Guys won't run through the wall for you.

"We get it," he said, bringing Decker back into the conversation. "We've been around the league. We've had success. All we want to do is win."

Everything sounds good in June. The real test will be in September. One thing that bears watching: How will Marshall react when he's not getting 10 targets per game? That was his average over three seasons with the Bears. In fact, only three receivers had more targets than Marshall over that span -- Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and the aforementioned Thomas. In case you're wondering, Decker is 12th on that list.

Marshall was a high-volume receiver in the Bears' pass-happy offense, which produced 1,673 pass attempts from 2012 to 2014. The Jets threw only 1,471 times, and the rate doesn't figure to go much higher under new coach Todd Bowles, who is defensive-minded and wants to maintain balance on offense.

So can Marshall find happiness in New York? Hey, what could go wrong? They have Demaryius Thomas and Alshon Jeffery.