In 2004 and 2005, Jake Plummer had the best two seasons of his career. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes in those two years, averaged 3,728 passing yards per season, and combined for 45 touchdowns against 27 interceptions.
And his Broncos teams were pretty good as well, going 10-6 in 2004 and 13-3 in 2005 with an AFC title game appearance. But by the end of the 2006 season, Mike Shanahan had benched him for Jay Cutler, and after the year was over, Plummer never threw another NFL pass.
"It's not a fun situation and I feel for RG3 -- a great kid, a really, really great football player -- he'll bounce back, get healthy and persevere through this,'' Plummer told USA Today. "I see great things in his future. But I think it's going to be with a new coach.
"Shanahan is trying to save his job, his reputation. I don't think there will be a Shanahan future there. I think there will be a different head coach for this franchise quarterback who had a great year last year, and the knee injury played into this because I have not seen another quarterback this exciting, maybe other than Randall Cunningham."
If you want another example of Shanahan messing up the mindset of another high-profile quarterback, Plummer points you toward Donovan McNabb.
"[McNabb and Plummer] had our own styles, and it didn't mesh with what Mike wanted. What I see happening there isn't the same, but it is similar," Plummer said. "Mike definitely rubbed me the wrong way in some ways. Also, he did some great things in resurrecting my career. Overall, I was grateful to be coached by him. But I was a square peg in a round hole. I didn't fit what he really wanted me to be, and he moved on to somebody else."
Ultimately, Plummer moved on as well. As will Shanahan, he believes.
"Mike did great things for me in Denver. It's tough to see other guys go through the same situation I went through. Mike will find another job, go do his thing."
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