When Jake Plummer first played in an NFL regular-season game, in Philadelphia in 1997, fullback Larry Centers stood next to him in the huddle.
"He's pulling his eyelid down," the former Cardinals quarterback said. "I'm like, 'You got something in your eye?' He said, 'No baby, it's eye of the tiger. Let's go, eye of the tiger.' "
The reason Plummer recounted that story on the Big Red Rage Thursday? He was thinking of current Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
"That kid has it in his eyes," Plummer said. "You can see it on TV. He's confident. He knows 'I can hang here, I can play with these guys.' I still don't know if he knows how good he really can be. Because I think any defensive player anywhere in the league is scared of this kid, to try and corral him, catch him and try to shut him down."
Plummer has excellent self-awareness of what his game was like when he played, noting why Murray, even as a rookie, is ahead of the curve.
"The kid plays at a high level intellectually in terms of knowing when a bad play is happening," Plummer said. "That's something I can say I tried. I think I did it a few times in Arizona and I got a little bit better with the Broncos. But I never liked turning down what I thought was a good opportunity to make a play. and when it's all said and done, that might be the statement of my career, 'Hey coach, I was just trying to make a play.' You can't really fault me for that, but that was my style.
"When you see this kid, he can make any play in the world. I saw some plays and throws he did I've never seen before. ... I think he left a lot on the field the first few games, playing it real safe, taking a sack, going down, not extending the play, where that's still high-level thinking for a kid right out of college to know, 'Hey, it's first down' or 'Hey it's second down, we've got another down.' That's high level and a hard thing to do, to pull the ball down, take a two-yard loss, lick our wounds, it's third-and-10 now but I can make a play on third-and-10. The kid believes in himself. I saw a lot of that, which was really impressive."