|08-22-2006, 08:38 AM||#1|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
Broncos Press Sunday&Monday
|08-22-2006, 08:51 AM||#2|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
Plummer quietly having good camp
By ARNIE STAPLETON
The Associated Press
Updated: 5:23 p.m. ET Aug 20, 2006
DENVER - For a guy who led the Denver Broncos to the cusp of the Super Bowl seven months ago, Jake Plummer sure has had a quiet camp.
Almost all the attention has been on prized rookie quarterback Jay Cutler, who is drawing rave reviews for his arm strength and accuracy but who will be carrying a clipboard when the regular season begins in three weeks.
Plummer will be the one carrying the franchise's hopes of winning its first title since John Elway retired with two rings following the 1999 season.
Plummer has calmly gone about his business of incorporating a new receiver (Javon Walker) and running back (Mike Bell) into the highly efficient offense he ran so impeccably last season while adjusting to the departure of offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, who left to coach the Houston Texans.
Entering his 10th NFL season, Plummer said he's had fun flying under the radar but coach Mike Shanahan bristled when asked about his starting quarterback quietly having a solid first month of practice.
"Not quietly from my standpoint," Shanahan said following Plummer's stellar start in the Broncos' 35-10 rout of Tennessee on Saturday night.
Plummer completed 6 of 8 passes for 97 yards, including a 35-yard scoring strike to tight end Nate Jackson on fourth down, for a nearly perfect passer rating of 154.7.
His only blemish was his ill-advised attempt to motor through linebacker David Thornton while trying to score on a scramble to the pylon in the second quarter, the type of reckless decision that Shanahan almost entirely vanquished from Plummer's stockpile last season.
"He's played pretty well. He executed the offense very well, and the only thing I told him down on the 2-yard line was throw that ball away if it's not there, or get in there and slide early," Shanahan said. "You don't want him to take a shot if he doesn't have to."
With newcomers Walker, David Kircus and Brandon Marshall all showing promise at various times during training camp, Plummer doesn't appear the least bit concerned that recalcitrant receiver Ashley Lelie, the NFL's leader in yards per catch the last two seasons, is holding out to try to force a trade.
Plummer said he's getting more comfortable with throwing the ball to players other than Rod Smith, who had three grabs for 38 yards in his 2006 debut Saturday night.
"I mean, Rod's as good as they get. I know I can throw the ball to him," Plummer said. "But seeing a guy like Kircus step up, or like Nate stepping up on a big fourth down, that's always nice."
And he can't wait to start putting the ball in Walker's hands on a regular basis, too.
"You know, I would like to get the ball to Javon," Plummer said. "We didn't get the looks to go his way, and that's what we have another preseason game for."
Walker is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him almost all of last season in Green Bay. Dealt to Denver on draft day, Walker has been back to his spectacular self at training camp.
Still, he was eager to do it in a game so he could get that all-important first hit to prove to himself and others that he's fully recovered from the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that required two surgeries.
Shanahan said he tried to get Walker a throw toward the end of his 20-play stint with the regulars but the coverage rolled his way and Plummer made the right read in not forcing it to the former Pro Bowl receiver.
"We're disappointed he didn't catch a ball," Shanahan said. "Maybe he will next week."
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