Jake Plummer doesn't suit up for the Broncos anymore, but he clearly still bleeds orange. The former QB, who led the Broncos to the 2005 AFC Championship, stopped by the UCHealth Training Center on Thursday to take in practice and chat with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway.
As Day 3 of Organized Team Activities wrapped up, Plummer shared his views on a wide variety of topics with DenverBroncos.com:
Aric DiLalla: What are your impressions of the team just from watching [Thursday's OTA]? It's obviously early.
Jake Plummer: Yeah, just looks like a nice color jersey choice today. They're doing what I expect: trying to work efficiently and hustle and go as fast as you can without pads on. But I see some explosiveness from some young players that are gonna push these older guys to keep getting better and some older guys that look like they keep getting better.
AD: Derek Wolfe was saying yesterday he didn't want to test free agency, [and that] he loves it here. He loves the fans. What was the best part of your quarterbacking experience here for the Broncos?
JP: The best part of being here was being part of this organization and the way they treat us as players. Their mindset here and the way that we are taken care of made me be happy to be here, and [I] knew I made the right choice. To hear that from Derek is awesome, because there's a guy who, you know, he did get paid. He made a lot of money, and he wants to remain loyal to this team and help build that core group of guys that feel the same way. We had [that type of player] here when I played, and those guys would take less money to stay here to make sure we could keep those integral, key parts together. To hear that from him is good. He's assuming a leadership role. Also what he said was, 'If you don't want to be here, then get out of here. You know where the doors are.' That's another thing I always liked was [with those types of] guys, you know they wanted to be here. You can't do this 96 percent. You need 100 percent buy-in. And that's not just the players, that's the guys that are cleaning the place. From the cleaners, the janitors, all the way up to the top. Everybody's got to believe and be in 100 percent. I like to hear those words coming from a guy like Derek, who's proven what he can do.
AD: I saw you got to be involved with the draft process, what was that like for you?
JP: Yeah, that was fun. When those opportunities come around, I mean, why the hell would I not want to go skiing and announce the draft pick for the Broncos? It was great, too, 'cause I did not even know that [running back Devontae] Booker was still around, 'cause I hadn't heard of any of the picks prior to that, but when I was rehearsing, I said him as the pick. Because I felt like if he was there, there's no way [Head Coach Gary Kubiak] would pass on a running back of his caliber and talent level. So it was cool to ski down and have some fun doing that.
AD: You were just talking with John [Elway], what do you think about the job he's done for this organization, after all he did as a player?
JP: Yeah, right? I mean, let's span the whole thing here. He's done amazing things and now he's just, he's a football guy. He's intelligent and has an eye for talent, and not just talent, but the right kind of guys that want to play ball here. Like he said, coming from the top – not the top, but he's pretty much the top guy – we want Broncos. We want Denver Broncos, people that understand what's here is special. You can go to other cities. You can go to other teams and chase the money, but what's here is so special. I come back. I encourage all my old teammates that played here, 'come back.' They want us to be back here so that you feel good about what you accomplished in the NFL. Not everyone rides out on Super Bowl titles. Some guys don't go out on the highest note or the greatest feeling about their career, and we all should feel great about what we accomplished. Him bringing that back here in a way, him being a part of this organization – wanting guys like me to come back, it feels awesome. My time here was great.
AD: Do you miss being out there at all?
JP: Hell yeah. This time of year was fun, because you get to see young kids. You get to try to help a young kid make it and realize their dream. And it's hard, because you look at a whole third of the guys standing around here, [and] they'll be gone and in a relatively short period of time. So it's also hard to get to know a kid and really like him and care about him and go 'Wow, you're gonna have a tough time making it,' just because of the depth at that position. And that happens every year. I miss getting out here, laughing, watching the squabbles take place, and just have fun playing ball. I miss playing ball.
AD: And what are you up to these days?
JP: All sorts of fun stuff. Mainly being a dad, raising a couple kids – helping raise a couple kids. And other than that, just enjoying my life, doing some fun stuff around the area.
AD: You like their chances to go out and try to do this thing again this year?
JP: [Laughter] I'll talk about that Week 10, Week 12. That's the thing, you know? They've got the foundation set and [are] adding the right players to that mix, seeing who those guys are gonna be – that's what this whole process is about. Weeding out the ones that can add to the mix and figuring out the ones that are gonna be around and yeah, there's no reason they shouldn't be considered a viable option to be in that game again. But between now and then, there's a whole hell of a lot of work that needs to be done, and that's what they're out here doing. It's encouraging to see.