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Jets aide: Decker to 'surprise' people as deep threat

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The New York Jets hope to turn veteran wideout Eric Decker into something new this season: a deep threat.

"You'll see more of that this year," said receivers coach Karl Dorrell, per Connor Hughes of NJ.com. "Eric will surprise a lot of people."

Even casual fans know about Decker's ability to produce. He was a bona fide playmaker and a fantasy darling with Peyton Manning's high-flying Broncos before signing with the Jets two seasons ago.

Pairing him with Brandon Marshall last year helped turn Decker into a huge part of Gang Green's attack, hauling in 80 balls for 1,027 yards and 12 scores -- but his 12.8 yards per catch say more about his crisp routes and ability to win matchups than his field-stretching skills. As Hughes points out, just 16 of Decker's 80 grabs in 2015 went for 20-plus yards, ranking him 17th in the NFL.

The Jets, though, plan to use him more downfield, with Dorrell emphasizing again: "Eric can get deep. He can sneak by you and do those things."

Said Dorrell: "He lets me know he can do those things in practice. We're opening our playbook a little more, which should allow him to do some things."

Jets fans and scribes saw quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick aiming for Decker downfield on a regular basis during camp, but we'll need to see it happen in games. Players don't completely change half a decade into their NFL careers, but the way New York uses Decker could.

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