Homecoming for Plummer

12-10-03, 5:10 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

As fate would have it, the last time 49ers cornerback Ahmed Plummer took in a game as a Bengals' fan was the last time his San Francisco team came to town to play a Cincinnati team in contention for the playoffs. As he pieced it together Wednesday in a conference call for the Cincinnati media, it comes out to Dec. 9, 1990, a 20-17 overtime victory for the Niners. Another tight one for the Niners against the Bengals won by quarterback Joe Montana late. Montana drove the Niners from their 19 on OT's first drive, swiping nearly nine minutes from the clock and getting a 23-yard field goal to win it without the Bengals getting the ball back.

Which didn't make a 14-year-old Plummer very happy, given that he had grown up in the same Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming where then-Bengals head coach Sam Wyche lived. Wyche's son, Zak, played football at Wyoming High School, so Wyche came around the school quite a bit, and Plummer still remembers telling him, "I'm going to play for you one day."

"He looked at me like, 'Kid with dreams,'" Plummer said.

Plummer still feels close to the Bengals because he would run into them around town, and it wouldn't be unusual for him to walk into a barbershop and hear, "David Fulcher was just in here."

Plummer may not get the chance to play for Wyche, but he raised some eyebrows when he was asked if he wouldn't mind playing for the guy who is here now. The 6-0, 190-pound Plummer, regarded as a fine NFL corner, is on the free-agent market this upcoming offseason, and he was asked by one of the local reporters if he would entertain thoughts about returning to his hometown.

His answer shows how much of an impact this first year under head coach Marvin Lewis has made around the league.

"You'd definitely have to consider it because of what the Bengals are doing," Plummer said. "It makes anybody interested in the Bengals right now. They're on the up. In my opinion, they're right there. They're right there in the mix. You'd have to see if it was best for the Bengals and you've got to see if it's best for myself. But it's definitely a consideration."

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