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Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Plummer's play garnering national attention


DENVER -- Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe dropped his head, smiled, then let out an "mmm, mmm, mmm" and shook his head.

Seeing teammate Jake Plummer on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated was enough to spook even a 14-year veteran. But after getting over the initial concern about the SI cover jinx, Sharpe realized it was exactly where he expected to see Denver's quarterback.

"I think Jake has played as well as we thought he would," Sharpe said Wednesday. "I think he's understanding. He's getting more comfortable and more familiar. He realizes he doesn't have to make all the plays on his own. He has guys here that can go make plays for him."

Denver has been going Plummer crazy for three weeks, but his performance in consecutive games against Oakland and Detroit has put him in the national spotlight.

Plummer had two touchdown passes and ran for another against the Raiders in a Monday night game Sept. 22, then threw two touchdown passes to help the listless Broncos beat the Lions last week.

The run has landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time in his career.

"That comes with the territory, playing with a team like the Broncos," Plummer said. "We've got a good team. So it's a reflection of what we're doing. Not just me, but the team. We're doing well right now, so we've got to keep it going."

After a shaky start in the opener against Cincinnati, Plummer has put together the best three-game stretch of his career.

His passer ratings in that span have been 129.5, 128.5 and 116.9, better than any other Broncos quarterback, including John Elway.

Plummer has thrown seven touchdown passes in three games for just the second time in his career, but the first without throwing an interception.

It's just the second time he's gone three games without an interception.

Plummer has also completed at least 69 percent of his passes in the three games. That's the best stretch of his career and the best by a Denver quarterback since Elway did it the final game of 1993 and the first two of 1994.

"I've said it a few times, stats don't really matter to me -- it's making the plays for this team and doing the right things," Plummer said. "If you are running this offense the way it's supposed to be run, that's what happens. That is what this offense is made to do. "

As for the SI cover jinx, Plummer knows all about it.

He remembers playing for Arizona State in a game which Nebraska running back Ahman Green, now with Green Bay, had a couple of fumbles after being on the cover.

"I hate to bring that up," Plummer said. "My brother had the cover and was doing some voodoo stuff up in the top of the stadium. It's what you make of it. If there's such a thing, I'm not letting it get me."