Guard Jermon Bushrod knows Jay Cutler better than you do.
He also might know Jay Cutler better than any other person in the Dolphins organization.
They played three seasons together in Chicago. They “were pretty close there,” Bushrod said Monday.
Logic suggests that Bushrod’s thoughts on the Dolphins’ new $10 million quarterback deserves real consideration.
So what are Bushrod’s thoughts on Cutler?
“I think he’s a great teammate; I think he’s a great guy. ... He’s a family man; I have a family. So it was just a good vibe. He’s a good locker room guy.”
That’s not the way America views him. Cutler has regularly made lists of league’s least popular player.
So what’s the disconnect? Bushrod on Monday blamed the media, at least in part.
One narrative that’s stuck with Cutler throughout his career is that he isn’t sufficient tough enough or driven for the NFL. Bushrod said that’s bunk.
“I thought he was a tough player,” Bushrod said. “I hear the things that people say. When I was there, it upset me. And now that he's here, people are still going to have their things to say. At the end of the day, if you win games, nobody says anything about that.”
The way Gase described it Monday, it didn’t take much (if any) arm-twisting to convince Cutler to put his broadcast career on hold and return to football at age 34.
Bushrod kept in touch with his once and future teammate via text message, but insists he was not asked to lobby on Miami’s behalf.
Bushrod told Cutler that the Dolphins are a young team, but one that’s “going to grind, and I think it’s a culture that he’s going to like and he’s going to appreciate the work that this team puts in.”
And what did Cutler tell Bushrod during their recent conversations?
“He's excited,” Bushrod said. “He's excited to get back out here. He's excited to get in the building. He wasn't ready to [retire]. I feel him. I understand where he's coming from. The broadcasting thing would have been cool gig for him, but he still has some football. I just told him we're excited to see him out here.”