Teammates: Eric Decker rates the Broncos
January, 10, 2013
By Charles Curtis | ESPN The Magazine
Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SportsWith 13 TDs this season, the third-year wideout is a finalist for the 2012 VIZIO Top Value Performer award.Editor's note: Welcome to another installment of "Teammates," an occasional Playbook series in which athletes share personal tidbits and anecdotes about their colleagues.
It’s pretty obvious why Broncos receiver Eric Decker is a finalist for the 2012 VIZIO Top Value Performer award, given to the player who most exceeds the worth of his paycheck.
With base pay just under $500,000, Decker finished second in the NFL with 13 touchdowns. Not surprisingly, he was quick to give credit to the quarterback who connected with him on those scores, Peyton Manning.
“It’s nice to have No. 18 in town,” Decker told ESPN Playbook. “Since he’s been here, he’s helped me grow so much as a pro as far as preparing, getting better as a football player and knowing the game better.”
To celebrate his achievement, we asked Decker to bestow a few awards of his own to his teammates. Here’s what he said:
Best dresser: “David Bruton. During October, it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He actually got a suit in pink to wear for all our away games. He’s always wearing the new jeans, new shoes.”
Worst dresser: “The offensive linemen. I don’t think that’s a big key to their life, their wardrobe. They just kind of wear whatever’s in their closet. They’re not picky about it. I respect that.”
Tries hardest in practice: “Duke Ihenacho. He’s a practice squad guy but in Week 16, he’s still giving us full-speed looks and he’s coming down and hitting you when he has pads on. He’s a guy who goes hard every day.”
Justin Edmonds/Getty ImagesIhenacho brings it in every practice.
Biggest eater: “Manny Ramirez. I saw him once eat a Philly cheesesteak and a Chipotle burrito in one sitting. Pretty impressive.”
Toughest: “Elvis Dumervil. He’s played through a lot of nagging injuries and still performs every day and doesn’t complain. He puts on his helmet and goes to work.”
Most sentimental: “Mike Adams. He’s a tough guy but he has that soft side.”
Smartest: “Peyton Manning. I don’t think anything fools him. He puts in more work than anyone who’s ever been around. He’s just a naturally smart person and that’s why he’s really good – you have to be intelligent like he is. In film study, there’s stuff he points out you wouldn’t think of.”
Funniest: “Von Miller. Goofiest is a better descriptor for him. He’s lighthearted, always having a good time. His last game of the year, he wore a cowboy hat with red pants and cowboy boots.”
Dustin Bradford/Getty ImagesCount on Von to bring the goofy.
Best dancer: “Omar Bolden. We always have fun on Saturdays and have someone break it down, do a little dance. He’s been out there multiple times.”
Worst dancer: "Aaron Brewer. He got out there and tried to dance. I’ll say it ... wasn’t like Omar’s. Just a goofy dance.”
Go to VIZIO's website to vote for the VIZIO Top Value Performer. Other award finalists include Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts, New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris.
Every fan that votes at the program microsite is entered for a chance to win a 60-inch VIZIO Smart TV.
Fans can also for their favorite finalist via Twitter by tweeting the finalist’s handle along with the hashtag #VIZIOTVP.
Voting ends 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 21; the winner will be announced later that week.