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.”