Last year, the Dolphins had to scramble when quarterback Ryan Tannehill tore an ACL during training camp, luring Jay Cutler out of retirement. If Tannehill gets injured again this year, Cutler won’t be back.
“No. Nope. Nope,” coach Adam Gase told reporters on Thursday regarding whether the team would need to sign an outside quarterback if Tannehill gets injured again.
It’s still not clear which quarterback would replace Tannehill, if it happens. Matt Moore is gone, David Fales and Brock Osweiler have arrived. Most recently, a waivers claim was made for Bryce Petty.
“There’s a lot of confidence as far as the guys that we have here right now,” Gase said. “[W]e felt good with Ryan starting and the Brock and David competing for that No. 2 spot. Now you add Bryce and that’s going to be an interesting competition. Really, we’re just going to see how it all works out for us.”
Osweiler has become an intriguing option, given his history as a Gase pupil in Denver, a part-time starter during the Super Bowl season of 2015 (Gase was in Chicago then), a failed one-year starter in Houston, and the subject of a hot-potato trade to Cleveland.
“When we started the free agency process, guys were talking about the fact that, ‘He’s 27-years-old. He’s played for you before and you were part of the guys that drafted him. You know him well. He wants to be here,'” Gase said of Osweiler. “They were almost selling me. I really had to go through things and just make sure that he was good getting back with me and understanding the situation we were in and kind of what he was going to be competing for. I didn’t know where his money was. . . . Just hearing him and where he was mentally and what he wanted to accomplish and how he kind of wanted to get his career rolling again, after we had that conversation and we got him in the building, everybody really liked him. I felt good about it. We ended up making that move and ever since then, I’m seeing the same guy that I saw in his younger years.”
Gase knows that Osweiler’s experiences of the last two years could have taken a toll.
“It can hurt you,” Gase said. “If you’re mentally weak, it can go one direction and it can be a bad one. I’ve known him since he was 20 years old. I’ve seen this kid have to sit behind a Hall of Famer. It’s a good thing and a bad thing sometimes. When he had an opportunity, he did some good things when he got to play in Denver. Things didn’t quite go the way he wanted to in Houston. It was a quick stop in Cleveland. Now being here, I just see a guy that’s excited. He’s enjoyed getting back into this offense and the way that we’re coaching him right now. I think he just enjoys that whole process.”
It’s clear that Gase plans on either Osweiler or Fales being the primary backup to Tannehill, and starter if Tannehill goes down.
“I’m comfortable with the two guys, between David and Brock,” Gase said. “I’m comfortable. If I wasn’t, then we’d have somebody else here.”
This year, the good news is that, no matter what happens to Tannehill, the Dolphins believe they won’t need somebody else.