FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — “You can’t go wrong with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.”
If there’s one thing Wesley Walker knows, it’s wide receivers. And that’s why the former Jets great has a good feeling about the franchise.
“I’m hoping they’ll make it to the playoffs,” said Walker, who was on hand Sunday for “Legends Day,” along with 40 other former Jets, including Wayne Chrebet and Mark Gastineau. “I think they have the ability to do that. I think barring any major, serious injuries, they should make it to the playoffs.
“I expect a lot of great things. Hopefully they shore up that defense. You can’t go wrong with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker at this point.”
It’s been a long time since the Jets had such a potent 1-2 punch at receiver. Not since the 1990s, according to Walker. “I think myself and Al Toon, and obviously, you have Don Maynard and George Sauer. You think of those guys and Keyshawn Johnson and Chrebet. We all brought something to the table and we’re all different.
“But what I’ve seen out of Brandon — his size, his ability to run, his route-running and his leadership is beyond belief. He didn’t come in with the best reputation, but he’s been more than what the Jets can ever ask for. If Decker stays healthy, he’s only a complement to them . . . And if they get another receiver to fill in that third spot, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”
Chrebet, who turned 43 on Sunday, also sees plenty of positives with this year’s team.
“It’s just nice to see Fitzpatrick back in uniform,” he said, smiling. “He looked like he had some good connections with the guys today.”
Chrebet praised Marshall and Decker, adding: “Those guys are All-Pros. But the (Charone) Peake kid and Jalin Marshall, they look like they’ve got some wheels. I’m excited for it.”
Chrebet highlighted his playing days with former receiver Keyshawn Johnson and also likened himself, Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss to “a three-headed monster” for the Jets back in the early 2000s. And “hopefully,” he said, another wideout emerges to join Marshall and Decker’s tandem.
There’s plenty of optimism surrounding the Jets after they went 10-6 in Bowles’ first year. And with Tom Brady facing a four-game suspension for his involvement in “Deflategate,” some wonder whether this will be the year the Jets overtake the Patriots in the AFC East.
“I’d like to think whether Brady plays or not, that the Jets can be a formidable opponent,” said Walker, a former physical education teacher in Kings Park. “Situations arise every year, it’s always different. You never know who’s going to be able to come to the forefront. But I think the Jets are really capable of it.
“Brady’s getting up there in age, and there are no gimmes in this league . . . it’s a tough league. Buffalo is right there, Miami is rebuilding. You just don’t know who’s going to be that team. But barring any injuries i think the Jets will be right at the top. And certainly, you can’t shortchange New England.”
Brady’s dominance in the AFC East began just before Chrebet’s career came to an end in 2005. So he knows not to underestimate an undermanned Patriots team.
Asked if Brady’s suspension can open the door for the Jets in the division, Chrebet said: “Only if they take advantage of the games they play. They still have to win. It doesn’t mean New England’s going to lose. But yeah, we’ll take any help we can get trying to win the division. It’s a shame that happened, but it is what it is.”