From 2003-2006, the Broncos regained control of the AFC West with Jake Plummer at the helm. After four years, it would all come crashing down.
After six exciting, but wildly inconsistent, years in Arizona, Plummer signed with Denver in 2003. Mike Shannahan decided to move on from Brian Griese and bring in Jake the Snake.
Plummer easily turned in the second-best quarterback play Denver has seen post-Elway. In four seasons at the helm, Plummer led Denver to three playoff appearances including the conference championship in 2005.
The 2005 season was Plummer’s best season of his career, and the only Pro-Bowl birth he garnered in his career. Consequently, Denver’s record showed, going 13-3 and securing the number two seed in the playoffs. The Broncos lost to a young Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-17.
The following offseason, Shannahan fell in love with a young gunslinger out of Vanderbilt named Jay Cutler. This spelled the beginning of the end for Plummer. After a below-average start to the season (QB rating of 68.8), the reigns were handed to Cutler.
The following season, Plummer was traded to Tampa Bay, but decided to retire. Plummer currently ranks top 5 in Denver Broncos history in passing yards, touchdowns, and wins.
It would be understandable if you don’t even know who Danny Kanell is. He played seven NFL seasons, starting in 24 games (20 with the New York Giants). He even spent time in the Arena Football League.
Denver signed Kanell to compete for the backup spot in 2003. Although he bounced back and forth on the roster, Kanell did manage two starts. They were bad to say the least.
His complete percentage in those two starts is 51.5%. He threw for two touchdowns and five interceptions and only 442 yards.
His 2004 season with Denver is the last season for Kanell in the NFL.
Jackson was drafted in the seventh round out of Notre Dame. After spending four seasons with Denver, he started one NFL game. He completed four passes for 41 yards and one interception.
He went on to spend nine seasons in the Canadian Football League, before retiring from pro football.