Chicago Bears

Why Dion Sims, Zach Miller see the Jay Cutler-Adam Gase reunion being successful in Miami

Why Dion Sims, Zach Miller see the Jay Cutler-Adam Gase reunion being successful in Miami

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Take it from two tight ends who played in Adam Gase’s offensive system: Jay Cutler is an ideal fit in Miami. 

Dion Sims played in Gase’s offense last year with the Dolphins and got a glimpse of how good the system could be. Miami ranked 14th in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA last year, and it wasn’t Ryan Tannehill’s most productive season (DVOA ranked him 25th out of 34 quarterbacks with at least 200 passing attempts). But the hope was the Dolphins’ offense would take a step forward with a quarterback playing his second year in Gase’s system. 

“It takes a minute (to learn),” Sims said. “Even being there, the first year with Tannehill, I still don’t think that we were able to max out on the things we could do as an offense, move all those pieces around. It takes a little while.”

So in signing Jay Cutler to a one-year contract — a move made official Monday afternoon — the Dolphins still have quarterback who will be playing his second year in Gase’s system. There's just a one-year hiatus in the middle. 

By DVOA, Cutler was a top-10 quarterback under Gase in 2015. His interception rate (2.3 percent) was the second-lowest of his career, and his quarterback rating (92.3) was a career best. 

“I think Adam gave him full reign and comfort to be himself and to be a leader and really step up,” tight end Zach Miller said. “Be a little more vocal. Connect in a different way with other players and other people than he did in the past. I think that’s why he played so well.”

The Bears went only 6-10 in 2015, though. Cutler is stepping into a team that reached the playoffs last year and should have similar expectations this year. But both Sims (who doesn’t know Cutler) and Miller (who does) foresee success for the Cutler-Gase reunion in Miami. 

“I’m sure Gase knows how to get him going,” Sims said. “They’ll probably get the best out of him. I don’t really know Jay, but for him being around Gase and me knowing Gase, I’m sure that they have a good connection.” 

And said Miller: “They’re gonna get a hell of a quarterback in my opinion. A guy who’s already been in that system and knows that system and played very well under that system. 

“Obviously him and Adam had a great relationship with what they were doing, so hopefully he steps in and he’s ready to go and they get a leader, a natural leader on their football team and can win some games.” 
 

Mitch Trubisky isn't buying (or paying attention to) the hype around him

Mitch Trubisky isn't buying (or paying attention to) the hype around him

Mitch Trubisky has to at least be aware of the hype he created with his standout preseason debut last week, right? 

“I don’t know what hype you’re taking about,” Trubisky said. “I don’t pay attention to it.”

This is coming from a guy who earlier during training camp said he’s “so good” at tuning out the outside noise, whether it’s coming from social media or traditional media. But even if Trubisky was playing coy and is aware of what’s being said and debated about him, he didn’t sound like someone willing to buy into that hype.

“I think it’s just a small step in the right direction,” Trubisky said of his first preseason game. “I still got a lot of work to do. I was pleased with how I played, but plenty more mistakes are going on during practice for me that I need to work on and continue to improve in my game and make sure when I go out there that I’m doing my job to help other people do their job.”

The mistakes Trubisky identified he made in the Denver game are about what you’d expect from a rookie quarterback making the transition from a college spread offense to the NFL (like taking the wrong drop). The Broncos second/third/fourth-string defenses didn’t throw much at him, either, so a lot of his work on identifying blitzes and setting protections is having to happen in practice. 

So there is plenty on which for Trubisky to work during practices and the Bears’ remaining three preseason games. Like coach John Fox — who said after Thursday’s game he wouldn’t blow up the depth chart for one preseason game — Trubisky wasn’t putting a whole lot of emphasis on what he did against Denver, as good as it may have been. 

“I think it just showed me that I’m making progress, that I could go out there and lead and do my job like I wanted to show,” Trubisky said. “But it was just a small sample. It was the first game, and you just gotta continue to be consistent in reproducing it. that’s why we’re out here working and practicing.”

Ranking the top 5 Bears players on current roster

Ranking the top 5 Bears players on current roster

Expectations for the Bears this season have been understandably low, but that's not to say there's no talent on John Fox's roster. 

The Chicago Tribune's Dan Wiederer dropped by the CSN studio to rank the top five players suiting up this year: 

5. Prince Amukamara, CB

Wiederer's take: Terrific offseason, high hopes on what he can bring to secondary.

4. Josh Sitton, OL

Wiederer's take: Proven and understands exactly what it takes to win in this league. 

3. Akiem Hicks, DE

Wiederer's take: Defensive MVP a season ago, durable.

2. Leonard Floyd, OLB

Wiederer's take: Had a very strong camp, could be a breakout year if he can stay healthy. 

1. Jordan Howard, RB

Wiederer's take: Had a huge rookie campaign, gotta be at the top of the list.

Watch the video above to see the Bears beat reporter's full analysis.