Saturday, November 25, 2006

Commentary: Broncos must put Plummer on bench


— Jason Steven Plummer, otherwise known as Jake the Snake, is done as the Denver Broncos quarterback.

No more slithering and squirming only to end up with a bad play.

No more Jake. Hello Jay.

Football is a cruel business. Players who don't produce don't play. Plummer and the offense haven't produced. So it's time for Plummer to sit.

If the Broncos are looking toward the playoffs, the future of the franchise will be the one to salvage a recent and ugly past.

If rookie Jay Cutler isn't starting Dec. 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, everybody has the right to question what coach Mike Shanahan is thinking. After Shanahan's rapid exit from Thursday's postgame news conference - which consisted of a statement, a call for questions, a pause for 1.5 seconds and a walkoff - be quick with the questions.

Plummer was less than spectacular during the 19-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. After the game, Plummer looked like a defeated man. He is usually combative with media members, but instead sounded contrite, almost somber.

"I'm doing everything I can," Plummer said. "Games go certain routes. We didn't win, and it all comes down to winning. I don't care if I don't look pretty or throw for 500 yards, I want to win ball games. I couldn't care less how we do it. I want to win."

I guess Plummer won't care if Cutler is the one leading the Broncos to those wins.

"It's not like this started yesterday," Plummer said, referring to the speculation that his time as a starter was short. "It started with the day they drafted him, and I've been dealing with it."

Shanahan has lost faith in Plummer. He probably lost it long ago, hence the drafting of Cutler. If Shanahan doesn't change quarterbacks now, the team will lose faith in his coaching ability.

Plummer's teammates lackadaisically support him, but they're not blind to an offense that has scored more than 17 points only three times. They see that their quarterback has more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (10) and that many of those interceptions have contributed to losses.

Still, they're not going to talk ill of him in public, nor should they.

"He's our quarterback, man," defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban said. "Struggling or not struggling, as long as he's back there taking those snaps from Tommy Nalen, no matter what the score is, I'm always going to support him. I think I speak for the rest of the defensive mates."

That's very politically correct. So was Ekuban's next statement.

"It doesn't make any difference to me at all," he said, referring to who plays quarterback. "That's a coach's decision there. When coach Shanahan makes his call - whether it's Jake back there, 100 percent supportive, Jay back there, 100 percent supportive, whether it's (Preston) Parsons, when coach makes the call, I couldn't care less who's back there. But I know we're going to rally behind whoever is back there."

Wide receiver Javon Walker said, "something has to be done." And that the team has to, "look at it across the board."

Nobody is saying what everybody is thinking.

Plummer is done.

Had Shanahan made the switch earlier, it would have appeared as if he were giving up on the season.

Now is the perfect time.

Switch the quarterbacks. Save the season.

Look like a hero.


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