Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker says he's been working out with new quarterback Peyton Manning for roughly three weeks and there's "no question" that Manning's arm strength is good enough to start in the NFL.
Manning is recovering from a neck issue that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season and eventually forced the Indianapolis Colts to release their franchise icon rather than pay him a $28 million bonus. Manning then signed with the Broncos on March 20 following a whirlwind courtship period involving several teams.
Decker said on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on ESPN Radio on Tuesday that he hasn't seen anything in the workouts that would lead him to believe Manning's arm strength has decreased due to four procedures on his neck.
"The guy's still throwing the ball a long time, throwing it great, hitting you in the right spot," Decker told Cowherd. "He's such a perfectionist. If he hits you in the belly button, he gets mad at himself for not hitting you in the chest. It's unbelievable to be around a guy who has those standards for himself."
Decker said he met Manning when the league's only four-time MVP came to visit the Broncos' facility during his brief free agency period.
"I'd been up there working out with some of my teammates and just kind of introduced myself to him," Decker said. " ... When I got to meet him face to face, the guy is just a class act. A different person. [It's] special to be around a guy of that stature and his ability to play football."
Decker said Manning's reputation is well deserved.
"He's so precise with everything he does and there's a reason for everything he does do," Decker told Cowherd. "In workouts, in the weight room -- I mean the guy's jogging from station to station. He's working like he's a 23-year-old free agent coming out of college. The way he talks about football, the way he runs drill work, routes, everything's gotta be perfect and there's no gray area. I think that, as a receiver, [is] the best thing about it. You got a leader that demands the best out of you because he gives the best he's got."
Even though he wasn't the prototypical pocket passer, Tebow rose from third on the depth chart last season to supplant Orton and lead the Broncos to a stunning AFC West title. The Broncos also upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in a January playoff game when Tebow delivered a stadium-rocking, 80-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime.
Tebow was a casualty of the Manning signing and was traded to the New York Jets only days after Manning first donned his orange No. 18 jersey. Decker said Tuesday that the run with Tebow was "pretty amazing," but he and Manning want to lead Broncos to their first Super Bowl title since current team executive John Elway led the them to back-to-back titles in 1997 and '98.
"Obviously that's the goal for every team starting the season but I know that we're willing to put in the work and put in the extra time in the offseason to make that happen," Decker told said. "I think we really understand that it's all about reading defenses, being smart, finding the open zone and just hitting the passes on third down and converting because that's what keeps drives going, that's what keeps you in ballgames."
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.