He’s back! Following the acl injury to Ryan Tannehill, Adam Gase decided to pick up the phone and contact recently retired Jay Cutler. There were varying reports throughout this fast-moving process. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said that Cutler was leaning towards staying retired, whereas others said that Cutler would love to play this year for Gase. In the end, Cutler agreed to a one year $10 million deal with an additional $3 million in incentives.
Gase was the Chicago Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2015. As it turns out, he was a perfect match with Cutler, who threw for 3659 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He completed 64 % of his passes and had the highest QBR of his career (92.3). Gase was able to rein him back, and limit some of the recklessness that Cutler played with, at times.
Cutler was coming off a tumultuous 2014 season, in which Cutler was benched, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was leaking information to the media, and an entire coaching staff was fired. Gase was brought in by the current Bears’ head coach John Fox, who were together with the Denver Broncos. It was rumored that the Bears didn’t even want Cutler, and considered trading up for Marcus Mariota. However, they were unsuccessful. What transpired was a best case scenario for Gase and Cutler.
Gase was applauded for tapping into the vast amount of potential in Cutler, and Cutler was able to spark new life into his career. Gase was rewarded and was hired as the head coach of the Dolphins, in 2016.
The starting quarterback last season was Cutler, who broke his thumb in week 2. It was clear that Fox didn’t want to go back to Cutler, even after the injury healed. Fox had no choice, since backup quarterback Brian Hoyer got hurt. Cutler came back, in week 8, and looked great on a Monday night game against the Vikings. The following week, he turned the ball over four times against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In week 11, Cutler bounced back nicely against the New York Giants, but hurt his shoulder during the game, and didn’t play the rest of the season. Cutler clearly missed the playcalling of Gase, and the relationship he had with him.
Cutler was set to begin a career in broadcasting on the second team with Fox Sports, which consists of Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis. It’s clear that Fox knew this was a possibility, as they had Cutler as the third chair. I’m sure Cutler will eventually begin broadcasting at some point. It’s possible that he could only play the 2017 season, while it’s also a possibility that he could play into the 2018 season and beyond.
Why I Will be Rooting for Cutler to Succeed in Miami
In my opinion, Cutler was never given a fair shake in Chicago. Certainly he made some bone headed mistakes, but the franchise failed him above all else. In 2011, the Chicago Bears trotted out offensive linemen J’Marcus Webb, Chris Williams, Roberto Garza, Lance Louis, and Gabe Carimi on the first week of the season. His wide receivers were Roy Williams, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, and Dane Sanzenbacher. The starting tight end was Kellen Davis, because then general manager Jerry Angelo traded away Greg Olsen. In 2012, the team had Brandon Marshall at wide receiver and a young Alshon Jeffery, who missed part of the season to a broken hand, but the offensive line that year was just as bad, except they had the great Chilo Rachal, now!
By the time the offense was finally talented in 2013 and 2014, they had the wrong head coach in Marc Trestman (should have been Bruce Arians) and one of the worst defenses in history. They gave up 50 points on defense numerous times those two years.
However, the fan base continues to believe that it’s always his fault, and that nobody else deserves any blame. They have a blind hatred for him. You mention his name to a lot of Bears fans or football fans, in general, and they explode like I’ve never seen anyone else do for other players. They say he doesn’t smile, which is wrong. They say he’s never been a good teammate, which is wrong. They say he’s one of the worst quarterbacks ever, which is wrong.
This is why I have always stood up for him. More so, than any athlete ever. In Miami, he has a decent defense, an outstanding head coach, and premier offensive talent around him, for the first time in his 12 year career. I hope he has a Pro Bowl season and leads the Dolphins to a Super Bowl victory. I hope he quiets Stephen A. Smith, and the rest of the rambunctious fans that have hated him over the years.
Jay Cutler, it’s your time to shine.