|12-19-2005, 11:15 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Nice article on Jake and the DB
A lot of what the writer states has been written on this board, but it seems sometimes it bears repeating.
Denver quarterback steady this season
An NFL quarterback won't find a much better gig than Jake Plummer has in Denver.
Taking a load off his shoulders is the second-ranked rushing attack in the league. Designing his game plans is one of the top offensive strategists in football, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. Whispering in his ear is one of the best quarterback coaches in the league, Gary Kubiak. Watching his backside is an offensive line that has ranked among the top seven in fewest sacks allowed three years running.
If quarterback wasn't such a demanding position, you might even call Plummer's job cushy.
"For a quarterback, it's a dream come true to be coached by those guys and week to week to work with them and this offense," Plummer says.
To his credit, Plummer is making the most of his comfortable surroundings.
The ninth-year pro is enjoying his most efficient year ever as he leads the Broncos into tonight's nationally televised game against the Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Broncos (10-3) can clinch a playoff berth with a victory. They can clinch the AFC West title with a win and losses this weekend by Kansas City and San Diego. The Bills (4-9) are trying to break a four-game losing streak.
Plummer is the eighth-ranked passer in the NFL and has the lowest interception rate of any full-time starter in the league. His touchdown-to-interception ratio of 16 to 6 is the best of his career. His first-half passer rating of 105.8 is second best in the league and has helped Denver play with the lead much of the season.
"We've been getting early leads and controlling the ball," Plummer said. "I haven't been in a lot of heavy passing situations. I've been doing a better job not forcing things and taking off or throwing the ball away. I'm playing pretty good ball, and everyone around me is playing real well. That's making my job easy."
Efficiency is not a word that was associated with Plummer during his six-year tenure in Arizona. Mistake and Jake were much more likely to be uttered in the same breath.
Plummer posted a starting record of 32-50 his first six years with the Cardinals. He completed 55.9 percent of his passes with 90 touchdowns and 114 interceptions.
In almost three seasons with the Broncos, his starting record is 29-11. He has completed 60.2 percent of his passes with 58 TDs and 33 interceptions.
"I think we've got a better supporting cast than he had at Arizona so he doesn't have to win every game," Shanahan said [YOU THINK?]. "You have a great competitor. When you're down pretty consistently, you're going to try to win games. You don't care about stats. You're going to make throws that you have to make. . . . Hopefully, we're not behind as much as he was in Arizona, where he doesn't have to always play catch-up in the second half."
Plummer passed for 4,089 yards last year to break John Elway's single-season Denver record. But while he threw a career-high 27 TDs, he also had 20 interceptions.
So Shanahan's aim this season was to take more of the load off Plummer's shoulders with the run game. Plummer threw the sixth-most passes in the league last year. Shanahan also went back to Square One in the offseason in terms of reteaching Plummer the Denver offense.
"No. 1, I think he feels a lot more comfortable with our system," Shanahan said. "He understands the terminology, he doesn't have to think, he can react. I think the personnel standpoint - he knows the people, their strengths and their weaknesses - and I think he understands our system that much better so he eliminated some of the mistakes he made the year before. But people forget that he had over 4,000 yards last year. So he still played pretty good."
Denver has the third most run-oriented offense in the league, behind only Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Plummer has good mobility and escapability in the pocket. He has expertly run the Broncos' bootleg and play-action pass plays.
In the last eight games, Plummer has 11 TDs and three interceptions. [It's funny, people were beginning to get back on his back about ints. yet overall his numbers were still good].
"I think that offense really suits him with his athletic ability," said Bills coach Mike Mularkey. "He's very good with the play-action game and the boot game. His accuracy is higher when he's rolling out, comparing him to his drop-back production. He fits that offense." [This gets forgotten far too often. Yes, Jake benefits from the running game, but the O benefits from his style of play as well. They are a very good match]
The Bills' defense faces a huge challenge. Buffalo is ranked 31st against the run, and Denver is the best running team the Bills have faced since they met Atlanta in Week Four.
During the four-game losing streak, the run game has not been the Bills' No. 1 problem. The run defenders have done an OK job. Third-down defense has been poor. Opponents have converted 56 percent of third downs the past four games. The league average is 38 percent.
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|12-19-2005, 11:25 AM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2001
Kush & Irsay
Big ups to the Buffalo news, I bet that poor guy was dying to write about a real NFL team all season long anyway.
|12-19-2005, 11:35 AM||#3|
Bleed n Cry Orange n Blue
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Nice article. Phil Simms said some similar stuff about Plummer and was wondering why when Favre throws 5 picks, no one gets on his a$$ but when Plummer throws a pick, he is literally picked apart by Plummer-haters and the media.
Oh well, all it'll take is time and a couple of post-season wins with Plummer at the helm and that should shut everyone up....
|12-19-2005, 11:36 AM||#4|
Hokie since 1993
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Jake Plummer isn't really play too much different from last year....it's just the receivers aren't trying to catch the ball twice.