From the moment Dolphins coach Adam Gase aggressively defended quarterback Jay Cutler in May, it was clear that Gase had emerged from his one year of coaching Cutler with a willingness to do it again. Now, Gase will.
“I guess I know a different guy than what everybody else portrays,” Gase said after Cutler announced his retirement in May. “I think a lot of things that have been said about him in the past have really been [BS].”
But Gase knows that perception is reality. Which is why, as one league source previously explained it to PFT, Gase specifically worked with Cutler during their year in Chicago on eliminating aspects of his overall demeanor that suggested disinterest or resignation. “Head up,” Gase would yell to Cutler as he came off the field, and Cutler would comply — robbing cameras of images that would feed the notion that Cutler had given up or didn’t care.
It all worked well in 2015, quieting the remorse that fans were feeling after Cutler had completed the first year of a seven-year deal that had full guarantees for the initial three seasons. So John Fox and the Bears had no choice but to keep Cutler, and Gase had no choice but to make it work.
So why didn’t Gase and the Dolphins pursue Cutler months ago as a potential backup to Ryan Tannehill? As one source previously explained it to PFT, Gase didn’t want to undermine Tannehill’s status as an emerging leader. Even if Cutler would have taken backup dollars, the sense would have lingered in the locker room and beyond that Cutler was a rash of Tannehill interceptions away from taking over.
Now, Cutler is. The move implies that Tannehill won’t be back this year, although that has yet to be reported or announced. Look for the next leak or announcement to be that Tannehill will have surgery to repair his ACL.