After a poor start to the 2017 season by Jay Cutler, some (including one of his old teammates) expect the Miami Dolphins to bench the veteran quarterback. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase isn’t among those with that opinion, however. In fact, he’s already weary of the criticism leveled at Cutler, saying it “drives me nuts.”
“I know where the ball is supposed to go,” Gase said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “I know who is supposed to do what on every play. If we protect him and give him a second to throw the ball, we’ll be all right. If he is going to get hit from start to finish, I don’t care who you put back there. We need to do a better job of protecting him and being where we’re supposed to be. There are somethings footwork wise he is going to better at. He knows where to go with the ball. We’re going to keep working on protecting the football when things break down in the pocket. We can’t just let him take hit after hit after hit after hit and expect him to stand in there. It’s not going to happen.”
Another idea is perhaps not utilizing Cutler as a wide receiver decoy on Wildcat formations. All that did last Sunday in London was give social media users the opportunity to rip Cutler to shreds for his, how do you say, unwillingness to give a crap?
In all seriousness, though, Gase does have a point to a certain degree. Cutler hasn’t gotten much help at all from his offensive line or running game. Jay Ajayi has rushed for 62 yards on 23 carries the past two games, both of which were losses, and painful ones at that. Cutler himself has been sacked seven times and hit 12 times the past two weeks.
Without a running game or much protection up front, it’s no wonder a quarterback who was getting ready for a career in broadcasting until late in training camp is struggling to perform.
The Dolphins better figure some things out, and quickly. They’ll be hosting the Tennessee Titans in Week 5 before hitting the road in Week 6 for a game against the Atlanta Falcons. Barring some huge improvements on the offensive side of the ball, a 1-4 start to the season seems more plausible than not.