November 21, 2011
From 2003 through 2006, Jake "The Snake" Plummer helped the Denver Broncos to a 39-15 record, throwing 71 touchdowns and 47 interceptions and making the Pro Bowl in 2005. He was probably the best bridge Mike Shanahan had between John Elway and Jay Cutler(notes), and he left the game after Shanahan decided to go after Cutler in the 2006 NFL draft, and Plummer was traded to Tampa Bay after that season.
Plummer was recently asked about Denver's latest quarterback, some fellow by the name of Tebow — you know, the guy who can't seem to consistently throw the ball, but who has the Broncos on a winning track nonetheless.
"I'm telling you, I came in at the wrong time down there," Plummer told Phoenix's XTRA Sports 910. "He is a winner, though. I like that because I think the town and the fans and everybody there — they are craving a winner. They lost one when I was run out of town. I don't have to say it. We won a lot of games when I was playing. It wasn't all me. The team was Rod Smith, John Lynch, all those guys. I had some ballers that could play. I didn't do it all, but we won and I think you can see [that] with [Tim] Tebow. He knows he's not the only cog down there as a piece of that puzzle that is making them win and helping them win."
And then, Plummer dropped the bomb. "Tebow, regardless of whether I wish he'd just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates, I think he's a winner and I respect that about him. I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I'll like him a little better. I don't hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff…like you know, I understand, dude, where you're coming from ... but he is a baller. He knows how to win and when your teammates believe in you that you can do good things and that's what they are doing. They are winning. That's fun to see."
No doubt it will be less fun for Plummer when he gets hammered by the pro-Tebow crowd, though he seems to be the type of guy who doesn't really care what others think. And in the end, Plummer believes that Tebow will figure it out — right now, it's on every defense he faces to figure out whatever option packages are being served up by John Fox's coaching staff.
"When are they going to stop that [option offense]? I don't know, man," Plummer said. "That's why you won't see me on ESPN prognosticating or trying to analyze what they do.
"They are going to do it until it gets stopped and probably are going to keep doing it until Tebow can take a drop and hit an out route or a comeback. Until he can do that, then why would they change? If he can't ever do that … I think if takes the time and gets the right coaching and has people with patience and putting effort in. He's willing to learn. You can hear it in his words."
But how far can he go as a pure passer? "I think he'll end up becoming the thrower we expected him to be. Right now, he is winning and that's all that matters. I think the town and the fans in Denver, they loved John Elway for one reason. He didn't win every game he played, but you know what, he brought a belief there and the fans never gave up in a game. They always knew that they had him running the show and they had a chance. I had that for a while there in Denver. That's a special feeling and I can see Tebow building that up right now.
"We'll see what happens. You can never tell. They are enjoying it now, so right on. Go win some more games."
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