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Brandon Marshall compares Eric Decker to Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery

Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) is

Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) is congratulated by wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) for his touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half on Dec. 9, 2013. Photo Credit: AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - It was Brandon Marshall's day to talk at Jets minicamp, and that's always a treat. Marshall was asked Wednesday to discuss his relationship with fellow wide receiver Eric Decker.

"Alshon?" Marshall asked.

"Decker," the questioner clarified.


"Eric Decker."

"Oh, Alshon."

Alshon, as in Alshon Jeffery, is what Marshall is calling Decker these days, it seems. Marshall played with Jeffery in Chicago the last three seasons and watched him become one of the league's top wide receivers. Decker, Marshall said, calls him "Demaryius," as in Demaryius Thomas, Decker's old Denver Broncos teammate.

"We're pros, so we get it," Marshall said of himself and Decker. "We know when to work and we know when to have fun, you know. Alshon's going to be good this year."

That's what the Jets are hoping. The idea is for Decker and Marshall to take pressure off one another -- and off quarterback Geno Smith.

Decker, who signed with the Jets as a free agent before last season, caught a team-high 74 passes for 962 yards and five touchdowns as Smith's top target. The hope is that those numbers will improve with Marshall (61 catches, 721 yards, eight touchdowns) commanding attention from opposing defenses.

Marshall, who again will work on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" this season, said having him and Decker together "opens it up not only for the guy on the other side of the ball but also for the running lanes. We're going to run the ball, and when we get our chances [to throw deep], we want to take them. And when they take those away, we're going to run the ball again."

Marshall, who was traded to the Jets in March, left practice a few minutes early because he "stubbed his toe," according to Todd Bowles. The coach didn't seem to think it was any kind of big deal, though.

Marshall said he was disappointed not to be able to take part in the Fantasy Sports Combine, a fantasy event to be held in Las Vegas this summer. The NFL has nixed any active players from taking part in the event because it takes place at a casino.

"They came down on it, so it's a bummer," Marshall said.

Marshall will take part in the throwing sessions Smith will have with Jets receivers and tight ends in Chicago during the next few weeks. Marshall said it is Smith's event but that it's being held in Chicago, where Marshall lives, because he has 6-month-old twins and would find it difficult to go to Florida, where Smith lives, for a week.


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