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Official Game Day Thread: Week 5 2006 Ravens vs Broncos

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  • Official Game Day Thread: Week 5 2006 Ravens vs Broncos

    Great article about Jake and his locker room credibility and how the team sees him. Enjoy!
    Plummer Stays On an Even Keel
    Bronco Has 'Perfect Mentality' for QB

    By Les Carpenter
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, October 6, 2006; E03

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Every Thursday night, the men who make up the
    Denver Broncos' defense gather at a local restaurant, cut into
    gigantic slabs of meat and talk about football. It has become a
    popular outing, a bonding session, something they believe has made
    them better.

    And lately, the dinners have been marked by the presence of a bearded
    man who has nothing to do with the Broncos' defense. Yet no one seems
    to mind. In fact, most of the Denver defensive players are thrilled
    that their quarterback, Jake Plummer, thinks enough of them to stop by.

    "He really cares about his teammates," Broncos safety John Lynch says.

    It seems like a small thing, stopping by a dinner one evening a week.
    But the NFL is loaded with weekly defensive outings and few, if any of
    them, are attended by the team's quarterback. Spending time with the
    defense is not something most NFL quarterbacks do.

    And it presents an interesting contrast. Because the Broncos, who play
    the Ravens on Monday night, are 2-1 but have done little offensively.
    And a significant reason they have not put up much of an attack is
    because Plummer has been intercepted four times. This has not endeared
    him to a local populace still smarting over the two interceptions he
    threw in the AFC championship game in January, and many are convinced
    he is the only thing standing in the way of another NFL title.

    But inside the team's locker room, Plummer is beloved as a normal guy
    who thinks nothing of giving up his evenings to hang out with his
    teammates, a quarterback without pretensions. And because of this they
    stand firmly behind him, united in support of their besieged leader.

    "I think a lot of it is his demeanor," says former Redskins tight end
    Stephen Alexander, who now plays for the Broncos. "He doesn't let the
    other stuff bother him. He doesn't care what people say. He doesn't
    care what people think. He's going to do what Jake thinks is best."

    There is a certain respect that fills an NFL locker room for the man
    who hears the boos but seems oblivious to their poisoned darts.

    "He has a perfect mentality for a quarterback," Alexander says. "I've
    seen quarterbacks go in the tank or start playing scared. He just lets
    it go and forgets about it."

    Plummer carries an indifference his teammates love. He doesn't strut,
    he doesn't preen. He shrugs and does his own thing, no matter how odd
    his own thing might seem in the buttoned-up world of the NFL.

    After all, how many professional quarterbacks drive a Honda Element?
    Or wear a thrift-store corduroy suit on the team plane for road trips?
    If any of these things seem staged, to create for effect some Wild
    West image for the player who grew up in Boise, Idaho, it would
    probably fall flat. But because Plummer pulls everything off so
    naturally, he only builds the respect of his teammates even more.

    "He's just a little different," Alexander says. "I think it's awesome.
    I've never been a guy who has been consumed by what you wear and what
    you drive. I love that about him. He doesn't let money affect him."

    Asked about this on a recent day outside the Broncos' locker room,
    Plummer nods. He is sitting on a table in a hallway, wearing his
    practice jersey over a tattered, white long-sleeved shirt and he looks
    around surveying the title contender under his charge. Like many
    athletes who have never won a championship, he has become consumed
    with a title, he says. Everything now is about that.

    "If you're lucky enough like me to have had a good first couple of
    [contract] deals, I'm not playing this game to make another $20
    million," Plummer says. "I can live off what I made in, shoot, my
    first three years. I have a decent outlook on my life. Financially I
    am set. What do I do now? I'm playing to win a Super Bowl."

    At 31, with 10 years in the league, he can probably see the end
    coming. At least in Denver, where the quarterback of the future
    already has been identified as Jay Cutler, who has startled everybody
    around the team with rocket-like throws that have perfect accuracy.
    That the Broncos used a first-round pick in this year's draft to take
    Cutler only accentuates the obvious notion that he will be the starter
    very soon.

    Yet as much as the fans clamor for him, there is also a sense around
    the Broncos that Cutler is a year or two away. The team, for now, is

    For the first six years of his career, he was something of a novelty
    act. A lanky quarterback, seemingly too thin to be on a professional
    football field, loping around the Arizona Cardinals' backfield trying
    to bring perpetually wretched teams back from another impossible
    chasm. He was "Jake the Snake" and he gained a reputation for being
    intercepted as much as he made the unfathomable happen.

    But when the Broncos were in the market for a quarterback before the
    2003 season, their coach, Mike Shanahan, became infatuated with the
    way Plummer seemed to make magic out of nothing. He watched tapes of
    every pass the player threw in his career and became convinced that
    Plummer's biggest mistakes came when the Cardinals were losing and he
    had to do something, anything. All he needed was to learn the system
    that John Elway used to win two championships here and he would be fine.

    "It took a couple of years," Shanahan says.

    Still, there was the old Plummer with three interceptions in a
    season-opening loss to the Rams and then another interception in a
    near-loss to Kansas City. The hum for Cutler grew louder around town.
    And while it died somewhat after he threw his first two touchdowns of
    the year in a win at New England, the criticism -- including some for
    a summertime road rage fender bender -- is never far away.

    "Obviously it bothers you," he says. "The only way it won't is if you
    don't have a pulse."

    The admission is brief. These are things he does not wish to dwell
    upon. If fans boo, then they boo. He's used to it by now.

    "Fame doesn't define me," he says. "If it did, I would be miserable."

    So instead he basks in the embrace of his coaches and teammates. "You
    kind of respect a quarterback who likes to shake it up every once in
    awhile like a defensive guy," Lynch says.

    In the end, this is what matters to Plummer the most. If the people
    around the Broncos love him, he can deal with whatever churns outside.
    After all, this is the land of Elway and no Bronco quarterback, no
    matter what he does, seems able to live up to Elway around here.

    This, he says, he understands. But Denver was his great chance at
    winning big. And if he has to deal with the howl of the fans who think
    he will never be Elway, it's worth it to still have that chance at

    "I'll take that trade," he says.

  • #2
    Best Plummer article I've ever read. Thank you.

    My adopted Bronco is Chris Kuper. Huzzah!

    I am the raid leader for this World of Warcraft guild. Yay us!


    • #3
      I thought it was especially insightful, it's probably the best one I've read as well!


      • #4
        Great article, thanks for posting.

        There are two kinds of teams in the AFCW; The losers and the Broncos!!!

        I Support our Troops!
        How do you expect me to have a RED WHITE and BLUE sig when the background is obnoxious white?


        • #5
          Very well written article. Though, it's nothing we haven't heard already...but good.
          Originally posted by Soldier96B
          i also took a crap and it was orange


          • #6
            Way too positive a spin to pass muster around here...

            Nah, j/k... But it sort of reminds you of McMahon's attitude when he was with da Bears, head butting Singletary, wearing "un-approved" insignia on his uni, that kind of thing. Jake hanging out with the defense is pretty cool, to me anyway. Maybe he feels like he owes them somewhat, given some of the tight spots we've been in. (j/k again...)


            • #7
              great article! thanks for posting it


              • #8
                Very interesting, thanks.


                • #9
                  Maybe if he spent more time with the offense, he wouldn't need to schmooze the defense for bailing his sorry butt out of the fire all the time.


                  • #10
                    Off to a pretty grumpy start after the hibernation, ain't ya??


                    • #11
                      He's got nothing new to say. Typical
                      "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people." - Karl Marx


                      • #12
                        Good Post!


                        • #13
                          I loved McMahon with the Bears in the 80's, I hadn't thought about him in years. Good comparison. Can anyone sing the "Super Bowl Shuffle" with me?


                          • #14
                            Yeah, it's not like we forgot how well Plummer played two weeks ago just because certain people tried to hide out for that time...

                            The article is good and articulates Plummer's situation perfectly. He'll win despite the behavior of some Denver fans. Good for him. I'm on board to watch him win!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by champ24girl
                              I loved McMahon with the Bears in the 80's, I hadn't thought about him in years. Good comparison. Can anyone sing the "Super Bowl Shuffle" with me?
                              Better be watchin for them Bears this year, they might be doing a Remix of the "Shuffle"... They're looking pretty tough.

                              "I didn't come here to give you no trouble..."