Jay Cutler had a very good first day in practice with the Dolphins on Tuesday, and spoke with the media shortly after.
Jay Cutler concluded his first practice with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday since signing his one-year, $10 million deal. To the delight of Dolphins fans, Cutler was impressive in his first stint since coming out of retirement to join the Dolphins and his former offensive coordinator, Adam Gase.
Even the fans that were not pleased with the Cutler signing have to like the idea that Cutler came right in, and performed admirably in his first showing. One of the concerns for Cutler after such a long layoff would be his arm strength, and whether or not he could build it back up to a level that it once was. Cutler said after practice that his arm felt fine, and that it should only take him a couple of days to get it back to 100 percent.
It remains to be seen how much playing time we can expect to see from Cutler on Thursday night, if at all, when the Dolphins play the Atlanta Falcons in their first preseason game. Cutler admitted in interviews yesterday that he has stayed in shape in the offseason, but that he’s not yet in football shape. My guess is that we might see Cutler play a quarter at most to get him back into the feel of the game. It may also be too soon since his signing for him to get out there, and the Dolphins may elect to hold him off until the second preseason game or later.
One of the main reasons that Gase wanted to bring Cutler in was because of his familiarity with the offense. The two evidently met Monday night to go over the offense, and Gase found himself skipping pages because Cutler already knew the calls. That kind of experience will help prevent the Dolphins from skipping a beat, and to be fully prepared once the season starts.
After practice, Cutler spoke with the media to talk about “Coach” Ryan Tannehill in practice, and what it feels like to now have Ndamukong Suh on his team instead of across from him. The full transcript can be seen below and is courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
QB Jay Cutler
(You mentioned yesterday that you had been throwing with the kids. This is a lot different today, isn’t it?) – “Yes, I mean it’s a little bit faster; but it’s still football. I think (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) is doing a great job with these guys and this group works really hard. It makes it easy on the quarterbacks the way receivers, running backs and the offensive line work. It’s a fun group. It’s good being back out (there).”
(Was it like a crash course today?) – “It’s kind of a crash course if you already took the course before. Some of the run game stuff has changed. The passing game is kind of relatively the same. The protections are changed up a little bit. I’m just kind of working with (Quarterbacks Coach) Bo (Hardegree) out there and going through the run game and making sure I’m clean on that. It’ll come back quickly.”
(How did the arm feel and how did the zip on the ball feel?) – “It’s good. I think a couple more days out here and I’ll be back and be 100 (percent). It’s a little hotter out than I’m used to; (laughter) but it was fun. It was fun being out (there).”
(Was the heat a problem for you at all?) – “No, no. I thought it wasn’t bad. Is this hot or is this…?”
(This is like normal.) – “Oh, this fine. (laughter)”
(We saw you talking with Special Adviser to the President and CEO Dan Marino out there. What did he have to say to you?) – “(He was) just introducing some people. It’s awesome to have a guy like that in the building. To have him around and his expertise, especially on the quarterback position, and to see him around, it makes guys fired up to have a Hall of Famer and a guy that played at his level.”
(Will you seek advice from Special Adviser to the President and CEO Dan Marino and vice versa?) – “Definitely. He’s a wealth of advice. He’s been through it all. He’s experience it all – highs and lows – and played at the top of the game. To have a dude like that at your disposal, you have to use him.”
(You’ve been around for a while but was there a little bit of nerves?) – “Definitely. Especially whenever you’re a couple of months behind these guys. That makes it … You kind of want to catch up pretty quickly but you know these guys are a few weeks ahead of you. I just have to put in a little bit of extra work. We’ll get caught up pretty quick.”
(Did you talk to the team as a group or have you just kind of been going up to people individually?) – “No, just individually. People come up to me. It’s been kind of organic. I didn’t want … That’s not really (Head Coach) Adam’s (Gase) thing. He doesn’t want to force anything. He kind of lets it happen. We’ll make our rounds and get to know guys and unfortunately the roster will start slimming down so it’ll get a bit easier to remember everybody.”
(Do you feel back to work or is it still kind of surreal to you that you’re here?) – “I mean practice felt back to work. This morning I think I woke up in the hotel and I didn’t know where I was at. I had to get my bearings for a minute and remember I was back in Miami. It’s going to start feeling like home and everything will settle down.”
(Were you happy to see DT Ndamukong Suh today?) – “I’m happy he’s on my team. (laughter) He texted me whenever we got it done. He told me he was just patting me on the way by in 11-on-11s. To have a guy like that on your side is always a good thing.”
(I saw QB Ryan Tannehill out there helping out the quarterbacks. How is Coach Tannehill?) – “It’s a tough situation for him. I’ve been hurt before. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re going to have a great year and something like this is a setback; but he’s been great. This is Day 1 … I guess yesterday was Day 1; but since I got here yesterday, he’s been supportive and helping out the receivers. He’s vocal. He just wants to help this team win games.”
(You mentioned that you were familiar with Head Coach Adam Gase of course. Do you feel you’ll have a comfort level going through a week maybe for the second preseason game?) – “I think we’re going to kind of play it by ear and see how I feel and see how things are going. I don’t want to rule it out and don’t want to say it’s a certainty. I’d like to play, but if we don’t feel like I’m to a point where we can do it, then we’re not going to push it.”
(What’s more concerning to you – soreness of the arm or grasping the offense?) – “My arm’s … It doesn’t get sore, first of all. We just have to get all of the strength and stuff back in it. And the offense, the offense is going to come. I think it’s just sitting in the pocket, getting my feet underneath me, just the timing of the game, rhythm, that stuff is just going to take a little bit of time; but hopefully it comes back pretty quickly.”
(When you woke up this morning and you realized where you were, what was your reaction? Was it what the hell have I done? Or this feels right?) – “(laughter) No, it felt right. Going into work and getting here and going through the motions of the practice, it felt good. I told (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) thanks for bringing me in. It’s fun to be back out.”