FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Eric Decker knew what was coming.
The Jets receiver had sent out a seemingly innocuous tweet on Wednesday, asking followers to explain on Twitter why they are diehard Jets fans. The person with the best response would receive an autographed prize.
As expected, with the Jets 1-7, the replies weren't kind. But here's something no one saw coming: The receiver's wife, country-pop star Jessie James Decker, deactivated her Twitter account after firing back at her husband's detractors.
"You think he really cares what y'all think haters?'' Decker's wife vented. "He's laughing his [butt] alllll [sic] the way home . . . Life is pretty good here. Can't complain.''
Jessie James Decker later clarified the difference between the "haters'' and real Jets fans. "We embrace the jets fans and couldn't be happier to be here!'' she tweeted before going dark. "Things will look up!! The haters are another story . . . Get it straight.''
Decker, interviewed hours before his wife shut down her Twitter feed, said he wasn't at all surprised by the negative reactions to his tweet.
"You've got to expect that, obviously,'' he said, adding that the post was his own idea and not a suggestion by the team. "Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I don't think it's against the law to try to unite or reach out to fans. When you're in the position you are, people obviously enjoy winning a lot more than losing. I get that. But they still love the team aspect.''
Decker said his goal is to make fans feel important "because they are. Wish things would be different. I didn't expect everything to be all happy and gung-ho [on Twitter], I knew I was going to get some sarcastic remarks. Because you're always going to get it, no matter the situation. There's always someone out there wanting attention and being Mr. Negative.''
Frustration levels have reached a tipping point for fans who have watched the Jets' season spiral out of control. And Rex Ryan understands that.
"Hey, I know our fan base, they are disappointed, to say the least,'' he said when asked about the feedback Decker received. "So are we, as a football team and an organization from top to bottom. So I think it's pretty much expected that that would have been the response when our record is what it is.''
Decker, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury, has caught 31 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. "Not what I expected from myself,'' he said. "Been fighting to get back as healthy as I can and I feel like I'm turning the corner and getting there.''
A 1-7 record is the last thing the former Bronco expected when he signed a five-year, $36.25-million free-agent deal with the Jets in March.
"To be honest with you, I did not see us at this point,'' Decker said. "In the offseason, we had the pieces. We're just not, obviously, performing on the field. Execution is the name of the game in this league . . . We've made too many mistakes. It is what it is. We are 1-7. We know why we're here. We've got a lot to play for yet.''
Decker stressed that he and the rest of the receiving corps have to be more productive on the field, and that begins Sunday in Kansas City. But despite his nagging injury, the coaching staff has praised Decker's effort.
Said Ryan: "I know he has given us what he has, and he is trying to step up and play to the best of his ability.''
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Decker is doing "a fine job,'' though he added: "I would like to get his yards per catch up just a little bit. But Eric has done a fine job, there is no question about that.''