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  • Plummer better get going

    Dave Krieger
    November 21, 2006

    The countdown begins.

    Good Jake returns Thanksgiving night in Kansas City or rookie Jay Cutler becomes the Broncos starting quarterback 10 days later at home against Seattle.

    Granted, it's a guess, but it's an educated guess. Let's look at the evidence and see if you agree, starting with the raw numbers.

    This is not last year's Jake.

    The Jake to whom Mike Shanahan became accustomed over the previous three seasons carried a passer rating of 88.1 into this season, best in Broncos history. This season, he has a passer rating of 69.7.

    Last year, Plummer's rating of 90.2 ranked seventh in the NFL. This year, he ranks 29th.

    In other words, a month from his 32nd birthday, Jake has gone backward in a big way. Why?

    Two reasons: Opponents have adjusted. Jake has not.

    By and large, opponents now take away the quarterback keeper. On defense, that requires people staying home on the edges to play the bootleg. In turn, that leaves them vulnerable in the middle.

    This is why the Chargers gave up so many big chunks of yardage up the middle to the Broncos' ever-changing cast of running backs Sunday night. It was a war of attrition. The Broncos thought if they got enough big gainers up the middle, the Chargers would have to adjust, bringing help inside and opening up the quarterback keeper, which is Jake's strength.

    The Chargers decided to take these punches up the gut and try to outscore the Broncos and ultimately force them out of their ground game. The Chargers won this game within the game. It's hard to get 35 points on the ground.

    Jake can make defenses pay for this adjustment by dropping back in the traditional way and hitting targets down the middle of the field. Whether it is focus or confidence or nerves, his accuracy hasn't been adequate to the task.

    The fact is, and there's no polite way to say this, Jake just doesn't work that hard. When you hear Shanahan marvel periodically at his week around Peyton Manning at the Pro Bowl last winter, it is clearly Manning's obsession with the game he covets.

    Jake could spend day and night studying game tape and working with his receivers to sharpen the passing game. Instead, he looks forward to his day off.

    Ask Jake almost any question a thoughtful quarterback could answer and Jake will tell you he doesn't think about that stuff, he just plays. After 3 1/2 years, the Broncos are ready for a quarterback who thinks a little bit.

    Mike Shanahan will not quit on the season.

    I first met Shanahan 22 years ago when Dan Reeves hired him as a young offensive assistant. I don't pretend to be his closest confidante, but I can tell you this: He has not given up on the season, nor will he until arithmetic makes him.

    Shanahan often says 10 teams have a realistic chance every year of getting hot at the right time and going to the Super Bowl. He believes the Broncos are one this year. His job is to give them their best chance to do it.

    He was not going to make a change at quarterback early in the season, when he - and more important, his team - felt Jake deserved a chance to find his footing. But we are now in the second half of the season. Jake's numbers remain dreadful.

    Shanahan is not particularly confident of a rookie's ability to command an NFL playbook, particularly the Broncos playbook. This season, only five quarterbacks have passer ratings lower than Plummer's. Two of them are Vince Young and Matt Leinart, Cutler's 2006 draft classmates.

    Inserting a rookie, clearly, does not guarantee improvement. But Shanahan has benched a starting tackle, running back and tight end in recent days to shake up his offense. He will not hesitate to bench a quarterback once he likes his chances better with somebody else.

    A quarterback can make a big difference.

    Exhibits A and B this season are Tony Romo in Dallas and Philip Rivers in San Diego, quarterbacks without previous NFL experience who currently rank second and third in the league, just behind Manning.

    The difference is Romo has been around the Cowboys since 2003 and Rivers around the Chargers since 2004. Cutler hasn't had that time to learn.

    He's had half a season and precious few practice repetitions.

    Moreover, Cutler is not exactly risk-free. The scouting report says he has so much confidence in his arm he will try to fit balls into places they will not fit. In the NFL, that's a dangerous inclination.

    Shanahan believes a young quarterback needs two years to be ready for command of an NFL team. He would prefer that Plummer play as well as he did last year and let Cutler learn, as Rivers did behind Drew Brees.

    But if Plummer looks as shaky in Kansas City as he did Sunday, it will be time to make a change. Cutler would have 10 days to prepare for his first start, which is as good as it gets at this point in the season.

    And the Broncos would still have a chance to make a run, on a prayer and a rocket arm.
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  • #2
    Dave Krieger makes a very good point and stands by his words.
    I agree, I think this game will determine alot, either in favor of Jake of against him but it will tell alot!

    Comment


    • #3
      Couple of things...

      First, I don't know if it's such a bad thing that Plummer isn't as involved as Peyton. It may or may not make him a better quarterback, but at least Jake knows how to have fun. Peyton is so serious on the football field, that every time I see him I get the feeling that he's not really enjoying himself or the game enough. He's so driven. That's good, and it'll make him the greatest pure passer in NFL history when he retires, but eventually it can come back to blow up (like in the playoffs). Jake looks at the game as fun (well, maybe not so much this season), and at the very least, looks a lot more relaxed and cool than Peyton does. Jake's problem isn't drive or motivation or not wanting to be successful. His problem is that he is too worried and caught up in the Cutler stuff that he's forcing way too much right now.

      Second, the more I hear about Culter, the more I feel that, ability wise, he matches a John Elway-type quarterback. I just hope with every ounce of Bronconess in me that you all and all the fans give the kid a chance to develop before we start crucifying him.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Thanks for the article mtnman! Nice read!


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        • #5
          Time for Cutler

          I have to say that when I first heard Jake Plummer was coming to Denver, I wanted to vomit. I could not believe it. I have done my best to pay attention to how he has peformed since, positive that we would not see another Superbowl as long as he was our starting QB. Now, alot of us(not me) have taken a stand behind Jake. It's great to see our favorite team have a winning season, but we need to stop and think and consider his perfomances of the last 3 1/2 years. He spent 6 years in the NFL behind an offensive line that had difficulty protecting him and he developed alot of bad habits. He is now playing for a better team than he ever had with the Cardinals and is generating more wins per season. But he consistently plays with those learned bad habits lurking just under the suface, and they to frequently come out. I truly hope that I am not the only one that sees this; Jake Plummer does have the potential to be a great QB; but after 3 1/2 years of Coach Shanahan trying to break him of those habits and not succeeding, how much more time do we give him? Ok sure, we got to the AFC Championship last year with him at the helm; but how did the last half of the season go and what happened in the AFC Championship game? The potential was there but he wound up playing like he was still behind an offensive line that could not protect him........full of bad decisions. And that is how he has played this entire season so far as well. He is not learning what Coach Shanahan is trying to get out of him. It's time for Jay Cutler. What's the worst he could do?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Greywolf505
            I have to say that when I first heard Jake Plummer was coming to Denver, I wanted to vomit. I could not believe it. I have done my best to pay attention to how he has peformed since, positive that we would not see another Superbowl as long as he was our starting QB. Now, alot of us(not me) have taken a stand behind Jake. It's great to see our favorite team have a winning season, but we need to stop and think and consider his perfomances of the last 3 1/2 years. He spent 6 years in the NFL behind an offensive line that had difficulty protecting him and he developed alot of bad habits. He is now playing for a better team than he ever had with the Cardinals and is generating more wins per season. But he consistently plays with those learned bad habits lurking just under the suface, and they to frequently come out. I truly hope that I am not the only one that sees this; Jake Plummer does have the potential to be a great QB; but after 3 1/2 years of Coach Shanahan trying to break him of those habits and not succeeding, how much more time do we give him? Ok sure, we got to the AFC Championship last year with him at the helm; but how did the last half of the season go and what happened in the AFC Championship game? The potential was there but he wound up playing like he was still behind an offensive line that could not protect him........full of bad decisions. And that is how he has played this entire season so far as well. He is not learning what Coach Shanahan is trying to get out of him. It's time for Jay Cutler. What's the worst he could do?
            dont look at it from the perspective of "how much worse" can he do then plummer....

            look at it from a future perspective.....

            starting Cutler during this 3 week stretch would be suicide for a rookie qb.....if Shanahan were to start him....atleast wait till the last three weeks of the season when denver plays some very weak teams.....

            i realize that Plummer isnt playing very well at all right now....and is downgrading from his past seasons.....but (sadly) he is still expendable within these next couple games.....the past shows that plummer will probably come back two out of the next three games.....then have a couple pitiful games again.....

            remember that Plummer has played pretty well in the "bigger" games within the season (Pats, Colts, Steelers, Ravens)....other then the Chargers.....

            i know that Cutler is the future.....and Jake most likely will not be around next year.....but starting Cutler RIGHT now would be detrimental to the teams psyche....and to cutler.....just giving my :2cents:
            "I'm also serious when I say: You can't stop Elvis Dumervil; you can only hope to contain him." -Peter King-

            sigpic
            -The best in the business-

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Greywolf505
              I have to say that when I first heard Jake Plummer was coming to Denver, I wanted to vomit. I could not believe it. I have done my best to pay attention to how he has peformed since, positive that we would not see another Superbowl as long as he was our starting QB. Now, alot of us(not me) have taken a stand behind Jake. It's great to see our favorite team have a winning season, but we need to stop and think and consider his perfomances of the last 3 1/2 years. He spent 6 years in the NFL behind an offensive line that had difficulty protecting him and he developed alot of bad habits. He is now playing for a better team than he ever had with the Cardinals and is generating more wins per season. But he consistently plays with those learned bad habits lurking just under the suface, and they to frequently come out. I truly hope that I am not the only one that sees this; Jake Plummer does have the potential to be a great QB; but after 3 1/2 years of Coach Shanahan trying to break him of those habits and not succeeding, how much more time do we give him? Ok sure, we got to the AFC Championship last year with him at the helm; but how did the last half of the season go and what happened in the AFC Championship game? The potential was there but he wound up playing like he was still behind an offensive line that could not protect him........full of bad decisions. And that is how he has played this entire season so far as well. He is not learning what Coach Shanahan is trying to get out of him. It's time for Jay Cutler. What's the worst he could do?
              you are absolutely right .
              jake plummer developed bad habits due to bad offensive line..

              the only thing that worries me abt jay cutler is that he is also behind bad offensive line.

              as per scouts..it caused him to do bad decissions(
              like throwing him in double/triple coverage...force things when it is not there).

              i hope that cutler doesn't do things like jake plummer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TheMastermind
                dont look at it from the perspective of "how much worse" can he do then plummer....

                look at it from a future perspective.....

                starting Cutler during this 3 week stretch would be suicide for a rookie qb.....if Shanahan were to start him....atleast wait till the last three weeks of the season when denver plays some very weak teams.....:
                Why is it suicide Mastermind? Just asking, he will likely face as many good teams next season, with little or no time, he has taken reps, he has practiced with the team. Where is the difference? He is behind Plummer now, looking at what not to do, or is he learning what to do. I do not agree with your argument, only because he will be untested against similar teams sooner or later, you can not shield a football player from that!

                Originally posted by TheMastermind
                i realize that Plummer isnt playing very well at all right now....and is downgrading from his past seasons.....but (sadly) he is still expendable within these next couple games.....the past shows that plummer will probably come back two out of the next three games.....then have a couple pitiful games again.....

                remember that Plummer has played pretty well in the "bigger" games within the season (Pats, Colts, Steelers, Ravens)....other then the Chargers.....

                i know that Cutler is the future.....and Jake most likely will not be around next year.....but starting Cutler RIGHT now would be detrimental to the teams psyche....and to cutler.....just giving my :2cents:
                He has also played poorly in important games, playoffs? Again I do not agree with your argument, I think this teams overall psyche and heart are crushed...I would bet money that not everyone on the team has faith in Plummer. What is the difference between now and then for those that do? Another six games? If they can not rally around the kid now, they would not be able to do it then...IMHO.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jay in week 3,,You been doing this crud since the pre-season,,Boring!!I know you feel a need to stir the pot so go for it,,get er done!!
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                  • #10
                    I dont want to see Cutler starting this year.

                    He is going to throw for a perfect 30 TD's and 0 interceptions and win the super bowl next year right?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BANJOPICKER1
                      Jay in week 3,,You been doing this crud since the pre-season,,Boring!!I know you feel a need to stir the pot so go for it,,get er done!!
                      He posted an actual article, how is it him...you act like he wrote the damn thing, your comment therefor is not warranted at all.

                      :nono:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lancane
                        He posted an actual article, how is it him...you act like he wrote the damn thing, your comment therefor is not warranted at all.

                        :nono:

                        Well I agree with this poster.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lancane
                          He posted an actual article, how is it him...you act like he wrote the damn thing, your comment therefor is not warranted at all.

                          :nono:
                          Get a grip,grow up,he has been doing this since before pre-season..Stir the pot,,did he or did he not post the story???????
                          Ok there you go!!
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BANJOPICKER1
                            Get a grip,grow up,he has been doing this since before pre-season..Stir the pot,,did he or did he not post the story???????
                            Ok there you go!!
                            Is it Bronco news? And is the Broncos what we discuss and debate here? COC clearly states that it is part of the team, information on the team or even on an individual with ties to the team it is Bronco news and allowed by the COC!

                            Grow Up? Man...you sure are sour, if you do not like the thread do not post on it or reply to it, that would mean you have to grow up and follow the rules that apply to us all. But that is not stirring the pot, if that is a fact almost any news on Plummer's horrific play would be to the same effect, which is 90% of the articles about him this season, so your suggestion is to not post any article on Plummer...I get it, thanks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lancane
                              Is it Bronco news? And is the Broncos what we discuss and debate here? COC clearly states that it is part of the team, information on the team or even on an individual with ties to the team it is Bronco news and allowed by the COC!

                              Grow Up? Man...you sure are sour, if you do not like the thread do not post on it or reply to it, that would mean you have to grow up and follow the rules that apply to us all. But that is not stirring the pot, if that is a fact almost any news on Plummer's horrific play would be to the same effect, which is 90% of the articles about him this season, so your suggestion is to not post any article on Plummer...I get it, thanks!

                              Is it Mtnman stirring the pot??is it stuff we really need to know??Is this how we support our team??

                              Sour?look who started the thread!!Defend something worth defending my friend,but this is way below you!!
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