High Risk, Low Reward - That’s Jake Plummer

by Michael Kelley
September 27, 2004

Have you ever watched a quarterback that makes you scream for joy one minute and hold your head in your hands the next? If you have seen Jake Plummer at quarterback for the Denver Broncos you know what I am talking about. He is one of the most erratic quarterbacks to ever play the game.
If you have watched Jake Plummer throughout his career you will come away with one impression, he drives you nuts. One moment Plummer will scramble around and make the most beautiful throw you have even seen to get a first down, and the next he will make a bonehead throw for an interception. You would think after all this time in the NFL that Plummer would begin to show maturity and intelligence. Think again. Jake Plummer is a risk taker, plain and simple. If he is your quarterback you better hang on tight and accept the good with the bad. His nickname is “Jake the Snake” and it fits him quite well at times. He is capable of making unbelievable plays while on the run, yet the very next play he does something dumb. Plummer’s biggest strength is his ability to improvise and throw on the run. "Jake on the run is awesome,'' said receiver Ashley Lelie, who caught a TD against the Chargers. "I think he's one of the best at doing that. All I know was Jake was outside the pocket and he threw it to me. I just threw my hands up and gave myself a chance to make the play. It was really gutsy, but we needed that. We needed to score more than three points.''
Gutsy is a word that definitely describes Plummer but other words that describe him just as well are erratic, inconsistent, and idiotic. Very often a lot of Plummer’s throws are low percentage and high risk. The ones that work out for him look great, while the ones that don’t look stupid. His play is high risk, low reward. If the Broncos are looking to make it to the playoffs this season they are going to need a lot of luck. Plummer has been in the NFL nearly eight years now and you pretty much know that every game he starts will be an adventure. The opening win against Kansas City was a great example as he let the Chiefs back in the game with a brain-dead throw to Kansas City linebacker Shawn Barber. This is nothing new though. Every week Plummer does something that makes you shake your head. Sometimes it will be shaking your head in joy, while other times it will be shaking your head in disbelief. If you want to wager on the Broncos this season be prepared for a lot of hand wringing and screaming at Jake Plummer. He’ll definitely bring out the emotions in you, and more often than not, they won’t be very pleasant ones.