Raider defense cannot have leaks against Plummer

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer has not been the second coming of Joe Montana as many folks touted when the Cards selected him in the second-round of the 1997 NFL draft from Arizona State. The Oakland Raiders defense, however, cannot afford to have any breakdowns against the elusive Plummer, who has been a disappointment in his career.

 

            Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer has not been the second coming of Joe Montana as many folks touted when the Cards selected him in the second-round of the 1997 NFL draft from Arizona State.

            The Oakland Raiders defense, however, cannot afford to have any breakdowns against the elusive Plummer, who has been a disappointment in his career. Plummer's elusiveness is similar to what Oakland faced in a 23-20 overtime loss against San Francisco quarterback Jeff Garcia.

Fortunately for the Raiders, Plummer is nowhere near Garcia's level as a passer. Garcia is the NFC's fourth highest rated passer while Plummer is the second lowest. Garcia kept several drives afloat by running 10 times for 45 yards against the Raiders. In his six NFL seasons, Plummer has never thrown for more touchdowns than interceptions in a season.

The previous two weeks the Raiders faced Denver's Brian Griese and New England's Tom Brady – two quarterbacks who are decent runners but not athletic like Plummer. When Plummer gets outside the pocket, he can create problems for defenders.

"He gives you a problem in that you want to keep him in the pocket," Raiders' weakside linebacker Eric Barton said. "You've got to keep your pass rush lane. If you come up to him, he'll throw it over you. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't."

Plummer is the type of quarterback where defenders are better off staying on their receivers even if he scrambles because a long touchdown pass is more damaging than a 15-yard quarterback scramble.

"With Plummer, you have to defend against the run and the pass," Barton said.

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