On Tuesday, Jay Cutler participated in his first practice since signing with the Miami Dolphins.
Cutler is reunited with Adam Gase who was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 2015 when Cutler had his best season as Bears quarterback. Many people question if Cutler is the right choice for the Dolphins, but he comes in having many assets to work with.
The quarterback will go under center for a Dolphin’s team that features an above average offensive line with a quality running game in place. Running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 1,272 yards and scored eight touchdowns last season in just 15 games.
The Dolphins offensive line only allowed 30 sacks the entire season with only two sacks being allowed in the last four games of the season.
Miami’s offensive line features two veteran Pro Bowl players in center Mike Pouncey and guard Jermon Bushrod with highly touted left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
This opportunity, barring injuries and a possible suspension, will provide Cutler with many weapons in the passing game that are already acclimated to Gase’s playbook. Their top three wide receivers are Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DaVante Parker who combined 17 touchdown catches last season.
Landry will be Cutler’s number one wide receiver as he caught 94 passes for 1136 yards last season. The addition of Julius Thomas, who had his best seasons in Denver playing in Gase’s system, will be the Dolphins new tight end this season. Thomas recorded 33 touchdown catches during his time in Jacksonville and Denver.
The most intriguing aspect as to why Cutler may have success in Miami is because he will be able to run Gase’s offense the way it originally intended to be run in Chicago before injuries to the offense led to play-calling changes.
Leading up to the 2015 season, Gase’s passing game was to include Alshon Jeffery as the possession receiver, Kevin White as the deep threat wide receiver, and Eddie Royal in the slot.
Along with tight end Martellus Bennett, the passing game was to be styled similar to the one Gase ran in Denver with Peyton Manning. The plan never came to fruition as all four players never played a single snap together and all four finished on injured reserve by season’s end.
Even with the injuries to the offense, Cutler still managed to throw for 21 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions.
Barring injuries, Gase will be able to set up the passing game to his liking with the three returning wide receivers and the tight end he had in Denver.
There are many pieces in place to provide Cutler with the ability to succeed and help lead the Dolphins to reach playoffs again, but it will be up to him to take advantage of it. At the age of 34, he is coming off a torn labrum and it will be interesting to see what football shape he is in when he plays in the 2nd or 3rd pre-season.
Cutler doesn’t need to be the savior of the Dolphins this season, but if he can be a field general for the offense, the Dolphins will be a fun team to watch.