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Week 2 in the NFL | [AFC]

Plummer Knows He Has a Rooting Interest

September 17, 2006|Sam Farmer

Jay Cutler's footsteps just got a lot louder in Denver.

Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer looked very shaky last week in his three-interception performance at St. Louis, prompting many Denver fans to call for Cutler, a rookie who was a first-round pick from Vanderbilt.

"I can't go tell the fans what to say or who to cheer for," said Plummer, whose team plays host to Kansas City today. "If I could tell them anything, it's that I'm playing as hard as I can. I'm going to go out there and try to win for this team.

"Hey, sometimes things don't go your way. I know I've got 53 guys and a coaching staff here that I've got to play well for. If I do that, the fans can either root for me or root against me. I'd rather they root for me because that means we're winning games and we're going to continue winning games, but I can't control it otherwise."

Hello, San Diego

When Tennessee visits San Diego today, it might want to check if No. 3 quarterback Billy Volek has a round-trip plane ticket.

Volek, once slated as the starter, knows the deal: He's third-string behind Kerry Collins and Vince Young, and barring injury, he's not going to see the field. The Chargers are one of the teams that contacted the Titans about him last month when Volek asked to be traded.

"I know that they have a lot of interest. I know that they have contacted Floyd Reese and they contacted my agent," Volek said, referring to Tennessee's general manager. "There is an opportunity for me there and it is a bridge I'll cross when it presents itself."

Reportedly, Kansas City is also taking a long look at Volek after temporarily losing Trent Green because of a concussion.

Itching for Round 2

Miami's Daunte Culpepper is itching to show he's better than he played in the opener at Pittsburgh. But, because their first game came on a Thursday, the Dolphins have had to wait three extra days for today's home opener against Buffalo.

"In the NBA, if you don't have a game like you want, you [usually] have one day until you play again," Culpepper said. "In the NFL, you have to wait. The thing is we've got time to prepare and work on the mistakes we made."

Whereas his career completion rate is 64.4%, Culpepper completed only 48.6% in the loss to the Steelers. He said his timing was off with his receivers and his feet weren't always positioned correctly.

"That was really the first time I got a chance to play at that speed for a full game," said Culpepper, playing his first regular-season game since recovering from torn knee ligaments.

Bogus Bowl

The Manning brothers got a little tired of the hype surrounding their Week 1 showdown, when Peyton's Indianapolis Colts beat Eli's New York Giants, 26-21.

Peyton, in particular, rolled his eyes at terms like "Manning Bowl" and "Brother Bowl."

"Bowl game?" he said afterward. "Bowl game you're supposed to get some gear. You're supposed to get some sweatsuits and some watches. We didn't get any bowl gear. I never saw it as the 'bowl' -- I don't even use the term -- it was the Colts vs. the Giants, two good teams."

Branching Out

Who on the New England Patriots is going to miss receiver Deion Branch after his six-year, $39-million deal with Seattle? Well, quarterback Tom Brady, for one.

"How did I feel? ... I think everybody would have wanted Deion here, certainly myself, knowing what kind of person and player he is," Brady said. "But as Coach said to us, it didn't work out. I'd speak for myself and say I'm a very emotional person and over the last four, five months, it's been draining."

One and Done

Coach Eric Mangini faces his mentor today when his New York Jets play host to Bill Belichick's Patriots. Stats LLC notes that Mangini is looking to become only the third coach in Jets history to win his first two games. But the two previous coaches to pull off the feat, Pete Carroll (6-10) and Al Groh (9-7), lasted only one season.

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-- Sam Farmer

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