With Ryan Tannehill going down with an ACL injury last week, Gase’s decision to bring in Cutler proves that the second-year head coach has not given up on the season.
Adam Gase knows being a head coach of an NFL team isn’t an easy gig. You’re faced with tough decisions that affect players and their family’s lives on a daily basis. You receive scrutiny for every decision you make, big or small.
Gase knew this when he accepted the head coaching position with the Miami Dolphins last offseason.
Last Thursday, after Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down in practice with a partially torn ACL in his left knee, Gase was faced with his biggest coaching decision yet: what to do at his team’s most important position.
Instead of taking the conservative approach and relying on career backup Matt Moore to carry the weight of the Dolphins’ season, Gase reached out to Jay Cutler and coaxed him out of retirement, getting the 34-year-old to sign a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dolphins last Sunday.
Despite what people may think of Cutler, It’s clear that Gase hasn’t given up on the season.
No, Cutler isn’t a quarterback destined for Canton. His temper and recent play were big reasons why no teams reached out to him during the NFL’s free agency period. His reputation as a jerk has followed him—and for good reason—his whole career.
But Gase reached out to Cutler in hopes of recapturing what the tandem accomplished together in Chicago in 2015. That season, with Adam Gase as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, Cutler had one of his most productive seasons in his career, throwing for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns and a career-low 11 interceptions.
“I think he’s really good at his job,” Cutler said about Gase on Monday. “He takes care of quarterbacks.”
Gase is confident that the Dolphins are talented enough to improve on last year’s playoff appearance. Cutler, who has only been to the playoffs once in his career, agrees.
“It’s got a lot of dudes,” Cutler said about Miami’s roster. “On the offensive side, you’ve got a lot of guys that can make some plays. From the backfield, wide receiver, tight ends, offensive line, it’s a very talented roster.”
In Chicago, Gase turned Cutler, the quintessential “gunslinger,” into a game-manager. If Gase has the same impact on Cutler’s play this time around, it will be interesting to see where the Dolphins are at come playoff time.
Gase, like everyone else in the Dolphins’ locker room, likes and respects Matt Moore. But Gase didn’t reach out to Cutler to add depth to the Dolphins’ quarterback position. He did so because he believes Cutler gives the Dolphins a better shot at winning. If he didn’t believe that, he would have saved his phone call and the Dolphins $10 million.