Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Craig: Former Gophers WR Decker living the dream in Denver

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 31, 2014 - 9:27 AM

Being like Ed

“My favorite number is 7,” Decker said. “I wore it as a Gopher because it’s always been my lucky number since I was young.

“But,” Decker added, “I didn’t even ask for No. 7 when I got to Denver. I kind of knew that number was under lock and key and untouchable.”

That number belonged to Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, five-time Super Bowl participant, two-time winner and current Broncos executive vice president of football operations.

“I picked No. 87 because I was born in 1987, I was drafted 87th overall, and then [former Broncos receiver] Ed McCaffrey, a guy I respected and remember emulating when I was younger, wore 87,” Decker said. “Ed actually gave me a signed jersey that said, ‘Make this number your own.’ That was hung up in my locker the first day I got there. I’m not one to get blown away, but that blew me away.”

McCaffrey was no slouch, either. He caught 565 regular-season passes for 7,422 yards and 55 touchdowns. He also won three Super Bowl rings, with the 49ers during the 1994 season and the Broncos during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

Piling up numbers

Playing with Manning the past two years, Decker has caught 172 regular-season passes for 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. No, he’s not Manning’s favorite target because, well, every target is Manning’s favorite target. With Manning setting NFL passing records in yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55), the Broncos became the first team in NFL history to have four receivers with at least 10 touchdowns.

Asked if he’s made No. 87 his own yet, Decker said: “It’s too early. I still have a lot of time left to prove who Eric Decker is going to be as a football player.”

Despite their 11-year age difference, Manning and Decker have formed a bond off the field that other receivers don’t have with Manning. Decker said Manning’s outgoing personality made it easy for them to become friends, even if Decker and some of the other younger guys get lost when Manning uses lines from movies that the whippersnappers were too young — or unborn — to appreciate.

“ ‘Bull Durham,’ ” Decker said immediately when asked for an example.

“Bull Durham” came out in 1988. Decker was 1. Manning was drafted No. 1 overall 10 years later. Do the math and, well, Decker was still in elementary school.

Tight teammates

Decker’s youth landed him the back seat in Manning’s car when Manning, 28-year-old tight end Jacob Tamme and Decker began a ritual of car-pooling to home games last season. Tamme, who also played with Manning in Indianapolis, was asked how Decker horned his way into the back seat.

“Hey, Eric has his own reality TV show, so we figured if we put him in the back seat, we’d get some cameras in there,” Tamme said. “But, seriously, we’ve become really good friends. And we joke about his show. But he and Jessie have kept that from being a distraction. In a lot of locker rooms, I think a reality show would have affected the team. But Deck has a very level head.”

When the Broncos started winning, the music in that car pool stayed locked on The Coffee House station on satellite radio.

“I don’t know how that affects our reputation,” Manning joked this week. “But it’s good music. I like it. It’s working for us.”

These days, it seems everything in Decker’s life is working out quite well.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 17 4th Qtr 6:03
New England 9
Cleveland 10 4th Qtr 13:15
Baltimore 3
Dallas 27 4th Qtr 14:30
Washington 10
Indianapolis 20 4th Qtr 14:56
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 4th Qtr 13:34
Houston 21
San Diego 7 4th Qtr 13:00
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 24 3rd Qtr 0:08
Miami 24
Chicago 6 4th Qtr 9:02
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 24 3rd Qtr 3:43
NY Giants 19
New Orleans 14 4th Qtr 11:00
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Houston 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 6:30 PM
Dallas
New York 8:00 PM
Portland
Toronto 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 4:00 PM
Florida
Vancouver 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 39 2nd Half 8:50
Arizona State 47
Longwood 39 2nd Half 11:53
Ball State 43
Sacred Heart 58 2nd Half 10:53
Brown 55
Colgate 43 2nd Half 10:32
Columbia 48
MD-Eastern Shore 61 2nd Half 9:02
Duquesne 54
UNC Greensboro 34 2nd Half 12:03
East Carolina 57
Marist 28 2nd Half 11:50
Elon 46
NJIT 43 2nd Half 13:13
Lafayette 45
Cincinnati Christian 34 2nd Half 12:59
Liberty 41
Morgan State 27 2nd Half 15:55
Marquette 43
Campbell 29 2nd Half 12:48
Samford 42
Bucknell 52 2nd Half 11:09
Siena 50
Long Beach State 44 2nd Half 16:13
Syracuse 51
Coppin State 49 2nd Half 12:54
Evansville 58
UMKC 35 2nd Half 13:29
Indiana State 39
Hofstra 45 2nd Half
Long Island 25
Coast Guard 7 1st Half 13:07
Army 19
Thomas (GA) 11 1st Half 11:22
High Point 19
Texas Southern 4 1st Half 12:45
Kansas State 13
Rutgers 14 1st Half 9:47
Monmouth 19
NC Wesleyan 13 1st Half 10:35
NC A&T 11
South Dakota St 6 1st Half 11:55
Northern Iowa 9
Central Penn College 4 1st Half 16:28
Radford 12
Bowling Green 17 1st Half 10:28
South Florida 13
Harris-Stowe 15 1st Half 10:30
SE Missouri St 17
Robert Morris-IL 11 1st Half 10:41
SIU Edwardsville 21
Northland College 21 1st Half 11:04
North Dakota St 19
Milwaukee 11 1st Half 11:26
South Dakota 18
Northwestern St 2:30 PM
Arkansas
Saint Peters 3:00 PM
Cornell
St Katherine 3:00 PM
Fresno State
Haskell 3:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Wake Forest 3:00 PM
Richmond
Fla Gulf Coast 3:00 PM
Xavier
SD Christian 3:05 PM
Northern Ariz
Judson 3:30 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Ill-Chicago 4:00 PM
Bradley
Loyola-Maryland 4:00 PM
Fairfield
Miss Valley St 4:00 PM
Houston
Lehigh 4:00 PM
UMBC
Delaware State 4:00 PM
Temple
Belmont 5:00 PM
Butler
Howard 5:00 PM
Fordham
NW Christian 5:00 PM
Nevada
UC Davis 5:00 PM
Washington St
Abilene Christian 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UCLA 5:30 PM
Alabama
Stony Brook 7:00 PM
Washington
Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wisconsin
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 32 2nd Half 13:12
Pittsburgh 57
Milwaukee 45 2nd Half 11:10
IUPU-Ft Wayne 46
Gardner-Webb 38 2nd Half 11:32
Longwood 38
New Hampshire 36 2nd Half 8:58
Manhattan 38
Bucknell 48 2nd Half 11:14
Binghamton 42
Northeastern 53 2nd Half 7:38
Albany 49
George Mason 39 2nd Half 10:06
Towson 46
Richmond 34 2nd Half 13:38
William & Mary 41
Tulane 32 2nd Half 18:58
Cincinnati 20
North Florida 32 2nd Half 14:12
Florida 42
(14) Georgia 41 2nd Half 12:36
Seton Hall 39
Tennessee St 45 2nd Half 15:20
(12) Kentucky 59
American Univ 43 2nd Half 12:01
Wake Forest 55
Massachusetts 58 2nd Half 13:56
Boston U 38
Quinnipiac 43 2nd Half 14:16
Saint Josephs 39
Lafayette 38 2nd Half 9:08
Saint Peters 22
Northwestern 45 2nd Half 11:45
(20) Michigan State 33
Duquesne 60 2nd Half 8:08
Lehigh 60
George Washington 46 2nd Half 12:00
Loyola-Maryland 32
(17) Rutgers 34 2nd Half 14:30
Indiana 29
(24) Green Bay 52 2nd Half 9:59
Dayton 46
Western Mich 20 1st Half 2:53
Stony Brook 21
Davidson 30 2nd Half
Virginia 34
UNC Greensboro 0 1st Half 19:23
LSU 4
Denver 8 1st Half 11:10
North Texas 8
VA Commonwealth 8 1st Half 10:10
Coppin State 20
Huston-Tillotson 6 1st Half 8:15
Houston Baptist 29
Lamar 16 1st Half 9:31
Rice 20
Miss Valley St 14 1st Half 8:57
Alabama 14
Saint Louis 18 1st Half 10:45
Eastern Illinois 4
Middle Tennessee 19 1st Half 11:59
Tenn Tech 14
Penn State 7 1st Half 12:23
(23) Iowa 16
Purdue 18 1st Half 9:15
Illinois 11
DePaul 10 1st Half 13:58
Illinois State 12
Sam Houston St 4 1st Half 12:32
Wichita State 15
South Dakota 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(4) Notre Dame 3:00 PM
UCLA
Coll of Charleston 3:00 PM
SC State
Alcorn State 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Niagara
Colgate 3:00 PM
Siena
Michigan 3:00 PM
Wisconsin
Fla Gulf Coast 3:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Yale 3:30 PM
(25) Arizona State
UC Santa Barbara 4:00 PM
(16) Stanford
Long Island 4:00 PM
Long Beach St
Jackson State 4:00 PM
Louisiana
Eureka 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Cornell 5:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Temple 7:30 PM
Memphis
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close