Decker told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd that there’s “no question” Manning has the arm strength to play in the NFL.
“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 has been working out with Manning, something that players are permitted to do before the start of the formal offseason program.
“When I got to meet him face to face, the guy is just a class act,” Decker said of his first encounter with Manning. “A different person. [It’s] special to be around a guy of that stature and his ability to play football.”
Decker raved about Manning’s work ethic. “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.”
It’s hard not to view the words of Decker and any other member of the Broncos through the Tebow prism. Though no one is insulting the team’s former quarterback, the raving about Peyton implies a certain level of discomfort with his predecessor. Or possibly more comfort with the four-time MVP who will now be throwing the ball far more accurately than Tebow ever did.