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Published on 07/16/2009 at Thu Jul 16 16:51.
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Plummer and Shanny

Plummer and Shanny

Jake Plummer remains one of the classiest, and one of my favorite, Broncos of the post-Elway era. Retiring after being benched in the 2006 season, Plummer has been a recluse, avoiding public comment and “enjoying life” playing handball and coaching with his brother on a volunteer basis.

So when Vic Lombardi and Gary Miller somehow convinced the controversial quarterback to appear on their morning radio show on ESPN 1600 Thursday (I’m guessing they held his handballs hostage), I eagerly paid attention. Plummer didn’t disappoint, discussing retirement, playfully ripping on former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, and giving his take on the current state-of-affairs in Denver football, among other things.

“I haven’t looked back as far as any regrets of being done playing football.”

Asked if he could ever return to the game (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still own his rights), Jake said that, in many ways, he feels better physically than he did when he came to Denver. “I still am very competitive. If I had to, and if somebody put it in the right position, I still could play. But I don’t have the desire to go through all of that that goes into playing football.”

Quick to clarify, Jake made sure no one misunderstood him. “I’m not saying I would, I’m saying I could. (Laughing) No, no, don’t misconstrue that. I can see the headlines: ‘He will play if it’s right.’ Oh boy.”

Count me among the fans that would love to see The Snake make one more 4th quarter comeback.

Jake Plummer

It’s obvious, though, that Plummer has become disillusioned with the state of affairs in the NFL. As a fan, he says he can enjoy it, but as a player it was too much. “Nothing amazes you or surprises you too much in the NFL. I’ve seen great football players, including myself, kind of cast aside because some coach feels that’s the way to go. Then you see Coach Mike Shanahan get pushed out. It’s always fun to see that stuff happen. It’s always different.

The NFL is always moving and shaking trying to find the next winner, the next guy who’s going to do it. That’s kind of how the NFL has gone. It’s soured quite a few veterans that I’ve talked to, because it seems like it’s a youth movement in a way. You can pay a younger guy less to do almost the same job a vet does.”

Plummer went on to talk about the 2009 Broncos. “I think they got a good coach in there right now. I’m excited to see how they do. I like that quarterback they got, Orton. I think he’s a tough kid that’s gonna, kind of like myself, just lead, he’s not going to dazzle you in any way, but he’s going to lead and through all his grit and determination he’ll pull out a few more wins than maybe someone else might.”

Naturally, the conversation turned back to Shanny and the less-than-amicable split between the coach and quarterback. Plummer sounded in good spirits about it, joking about the mega-mansion Shanahan has been building in Denver, “Well he was what, only 5’4”? So he wants people to think he’s 5’6”, something like that?”

Plummer continued, “If I saw the man, I’d go shake his hand. He gave me a chance to put a stamp on my career of a winner and get some good wins in there. I have to live with myself. He’s gotta live with himself down the road. So I don’t have hard feelings and I don’t hold grudges. He got his due there, I think it was a year past due. He should have been gone a year before and I’ve already said all that stuff. But he’ll find himself somewhere coaching again and cutting some other good quarterback for another young kid. Who knows?”

Plummer’s always good for a soundbite or two. If only every athlete could call it a career with such grace and style (ahem Brett Favre ahem). Best of luck to you, Jake, you’ll always be one of my favorites. The full interview is below and starts around the 1:00:00 mark.

  • Andy

    uummm… kinda miss him now. He was a good guy. I think he hit the nail right on the head with why Shanny did what he did to him.


    Yup. Sounds great Jake. Can we move on now?

  • Fan From Spain

    oooo bitter… lol

    nice interview, good to hear what he’s up to these days.

  • robtink242

    he knows Orton isnt a gifted QB. but a average. his supporting cast will earn him more wins.

  • anthony33

    Things Plummer and Orton have in common:

    -Above average talent, not great talent
    -Solid leadership skills
    -Earned complete respect from their teammates

  • troyn

    Nothing against Jake, he was a competitor. However, Shanny did the exact right thing benching him for Cutler, I probably would have done it earlier. Jake was really handicapping the offense with his inability to throw from the pocket. With a great running game and a good d, Jake was a serviceable Qb,(as opposed to one who can carry a team) the same description applies to Orton, I see why Jake likes him so much. We had some O line and running problems in Jake’s last year and the D was shaky as well, we will see what we have with McD, Knowshon, and Nolan and that will likely determine Orton’s success.

  • AtomicLeo

    What a bitter guy.

    I like watching Jake play, but he couldn’t run anything in the offense outside of a bootleg and he blew off off-season work. I also saw him when he was in AZ at training camp. Total d-bag to a bunch a kids who showed up to get autographs. I’m kind of surprised at the love Plummer (flppin’ the bird at fans) gets from the fan base, Shanny made the right call in benching Plummer, he was down right awful that year. Once PIttsburgh showed that if a D took away his bootleg plays and make him throw from the pocket he was a below average QB.

    I’m not an Orton fan, but Orton has more class than Plummer, shows up for off season work and so far hasn’t p***’d off the locals.

    Stay classy in Idaho, Jake.

  • KMA

    anthony33 you forgot the most important common trait with Orton and Plummer….

    I can envision Orton doing a lot of the same “game management” type things that Plummer did.
    Hey we all know where he ended up,(AFC Championship game) we could do worse.
    Oh i forgot, we have done worse.
    Bring on Orton, McD, Nolan, and the new systems, and let’s get this horrid off season behind us, I’m Ready for some Broncos football!!!

  • kerry

    here is a little story i found on NFL Network:

    an actual non fluff piece that speaks the truth and catches MCDaniels in ANOTHER LIE.

  • broncoNM

    Haha…that blog by jamie dukes is hilarious. This is not an article and holds no merit. He titles it “Players, media have trust issues with McDaniels” yet he gives no specific players, facts, and gives no quotes. That blog is a joke and should be labeled “satire”. Wow! An NFL coach might have lied to the media…Thats unheard of!!! When i hear Jamie Dukes talk i literally feel dumber. My favorite part is the 2nd to last paragraph when he talks about trust, government, marriage and children. This is off season fluff with NO point. Jamie Dukes has been hating on the broncos this entire off season. Pre season where are you?

  • kerry


    um no players are gonna step forward and publicly announce their distrust for MCDaniels. and because Dukes is saying about the Broncos doesnt mean he is hating on them.

    maybe he is saying these because, well you know, maybe because this is actually a bad team?? think that might be the reason? no no, that couldnt POSSIBLY be the reason right? he HAS to be hating on the Broncos just because right? PFFFFTTTT

  • broncoNM

    I guess this is a ground breaking blog about coach McD lying to a reporter and it proves that we will be horrible this year. I wouldnt expect any player to come foward but a quote would be nice or if he specified when these players made the comments. Its jamie dukes job to come up with these “time wasters” until the season starts. He gives no facts but does make a riveting point about how we need to trust our children. I have no doubt that jamie dukes thinks the broncos will be bad this year but he has no idea if they actually will be. This is jamie dukes opinion and thats it. Maybe he could give a stat of coaches season records after they have lied to a reporter…that would be a ridiculous stat for a ridiculous blog.

  • Geronimo

    Grace and style? The guy failed his way out of a job after showing again and again that he’s a loser under pressure. Instead of showing that he has his stuff, he went home to play handball and take pot shots at Superbowl winners and young quarterbacks who won the job that he lost.

    Jake Plummer is a loser.

  • SickandTired

    I’m all for Jake the Snake coming back. As long as all he does is hold snaps for our new longsnapper.

    I think we’d have the best longsnapper/holder combo in the league.