Morning sports update: Eric Decker says Josh McDaniels is ‘probably the smartest football coach’ he’s had in his career

"The guy knows his X’s and O’s."

Mitch Moreland hit a three-run homer during a five-run 10th inning as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 10-7 on Tuesday night. Craig Kimbrel gave up a solo homer to tie the game in the ninth for a blown save, but struck out the side otherwise.

Here’s what else you need to know as you catch up on sports headlines this morning:

Eric Decker says Josh McDaniels is ‘probably the smartest football coach’ he’s had in his career

During the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Patriots held the No. 90 pick and a firm interest in University of Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker. Bill Belichick never got the chance to take him. He was beaten to the punch by a former protege, then-Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, who nabbed Decker at No. 87.

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Although Decker didn’t get to spend too much time to play under his new offensive coordinator — Denver let McDaniels go after a 3-9 start to the following season — he sounds excited to be reunited with him in New England.

“Josh drafted me in Denver and gave me an opportunity,” the 31-year-old said, per The Providence Journal. “Obviously, I have all the respect for him. Probably the smartest football coach I think I’ve had in my career. The guy knows his X’s and O’s. He’s good with relationships and good as far as getting things going on offense, so it’s been fun being back with him.”

Decker caught 222 passes for 3,070 yards in four seasons for the Broncos. The receiver, who has three 1,000-yard seasons to his name, will hope his experience in McDaniels’s offense gives him a head start with the Patriots.

“There’s obviously things that change over time, but there’s some carryover that I was able to take and quickly learn,” he said. “And there’s a lot of new stuff, too, that I’ve got to catch up on and get ready to go.”

Belichick, for one, seems to think the brief stint will serve Decker well.

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“Yeah, I’m sure it will,” he said. “Well, he’s a smart guy. I know he has recall from some of the things that we do that Josh did at Denver that are a carryover.”

As he tries to carve out a role  — and roster spot — in Foxborough, Decker is competing against Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios, and Paul Turner on the receiver depth chart.

“It’s early. I’m just trying to come in, get to know my teammates, be a good teammate,” Decker said. “Obviously work hard, know my role, my position, earn one, and let it develop from there. I just hope to get an opportunity to play and to help this team win.”

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Jerry Remy is facing another battle with cancer: NESN announced Tuesday that the popular former Red Sox second baseman and color analyst will be absent from its baseball broadcasts while he receives treatment.

“At this time, Jerry’s focus is on his medical treatment,” the statement read. “The thoughts and prayers of all of us at NESN and the Red Sox are with Jerry and his family during this difficult time.” (Boston.com)

Catching up with old friends: Nate Robinson: The 5-foot-9 former Celtics point guard reflected on his absolute favorite NBA memory, his connection with Ray Allen in Boston, and his near-death experience involving Paul Pierce.

“That was the day I died and came back to life,” Robinson said. “I literally almost broke my neck.” (Boston.com)

The Patriots reportedly worked out another free agent: Bashaud Breeland, a free agent, has played all four seasons of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins. The cornerback logged 34 solo tackles, 13 assisted tackles, and a pick-six for 96 yards last season. (Boston.com)

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