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Plummer would be wise to heed his own advice (see photo gallery of camp)

Jake Plummer stopped the drill. He delicately explained footwork to another child.

Teaching the intricacies of a three-step drop to 11-year-olds can be hard work.

Not quite as hard as trying to guide the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl, but grueling nonetheless.

The Capital High grad was in Boise on Saturday for a pair of benefit events, including a morning football camp at the Optimist Youth Sports Complex, where he and several Denver teammates tutored 149 10- to 12-year-olds on football fundamentals.

"I played Optimist when I started out in the fifth grade. If I hadn't started playing Optimist, who knows what would have happened?" Plummer said.

"This gives these guys a chance to come out and realize your dreams can come true. My dream was to one day be an NFL football player and now I'm going into my 10th year."

The appearance was to help the Optimists raise money to expand its increasingly crowded complex on Hill Road. Several Boise State and local high school players also served as coaches.

Plummer was to attend an Alzheimer's Benefit at Boise State on Saturday night to raise awareness for the disease that his grandfather suffered from. Plummer, who grew up in Boise near his grandfather, saw how much pain the ailment caused his family.

"I saw the whole process and how the disease progressed through him and saw the effect it had on my mom and my aunt," Plummer said. "It's a nasty little disease."

The benefit included auctions to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association Greater Idaho.

It was a day filled with the positive benefits of being a well-paid professional athlete, finding causes to support and ways to give back to the community.

"I would have gone crazy to come to this camp with NFL football players," Plummer said.

He encouraged the children at the football camp — all of whom were adorned in blue "Jake Plummer & Optimist Youth Football Camp" T-shirts — to chase their dreams, thank

their parents and put down the video games in favor of outdoor activities.

"Believe in your dreams, set your goals high and believe in yourself," said Plummer, before signing autographs for every kid, coach and organizer of the event.

On a picture-perfect Saturday morning, Plummer seemed perfectly cast as role model.

In some ways, however, it's obvious Plummer still has some growing up of his own to do. The 31-year-old quarterback showed up more than 20 minutes after the camp was scheduled to start and 35 minutes after a short press conference was to begin.

He blamed his mom.

"My mom didn't wake me up," he told campers.

Plummer also was irked by a question about the negatives that come with being a professional athlete.

Plummer was involved in a minor car accident in April. The alleged road rage incident, for which Plummer was issued a summons, drew plenty of media attention, including a rebuke from his head coach, Mike Shanahan. At the time, Plummer acknowledged cutting the driver off, and said he was in a hurry to donate a check to charity — a lame excuse.

In his time in Denver, Plummer drew headlines for delivering an obscene gesture to Bronco fans and for ripping a local columnist over a comment concerning his girlfriend.

Plummer began to walk away from Saturday's interview session after the question.

"It's a lot harder than being a video cameraman," he said instead. "If I pick my nose, everyone's going to give me a Kleenex box the next day."

After the camp, a laid-back Plummer elaborated on the inordinate amount of attention he attracts as an NFL quarterback.

"I don't know if you'd call it a fishbowl or if you call it more of what people want to make a big deal about," he said. "... You've got to realize that being an athlete and making a lot of money, there are some negatives that go along with that."

Last year, during the best season of his NFL career in which he led the Broncos to the AFC Championship game, Plummer was constantly asked about his long hair and massive beard.

"It humors me. The attention can humor you sometimes. Just the fact that they made it a big deal is kind of funny," said Plummer, wearing much shorter hair and a few days worth of stubble Saturday.

"I'm kind of humored in some ways, not surprised. Obviously people are into it and into what is going on. It kind of can be amusing sometimes. I try to laugh and enjoy it."

Plummer should heed the advice he dispensed to the kids. He has chased his big dreams from the Optimist fields of Boise to the biggest stages of the NFL — and he's made it, beyond anybody's wildest imagination.

So let the fans boo. Let the drivers honk. Let the media take its shots. Stop with the excuses.

Plummer should keep believing in his dreams, setting his goals high and believing in himself. It got him this far.

After all, if it's good enough for the kids, it should be good enough for him.

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