Armando Salguero

Jay Cutler honeymoon is over but bench him? No way

Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler did get a few passes in which he had a clean pocket and time to find a receiver. But not many.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler did get a few passes in which he had a clean pocket and time to find a receiver. But not many. AP

Outside the Miami Dolphins building there’s a perception -- a logical one -- that Jay Cutler is failing as the team’s starting quarterback.

Cutler understands that’s how a lot of fans see the situation.

But he doesn’t think that view is right. He doesn’t think it’s complete.

“On the outside it looks like all the walls are falling,” Cutler said Wednesday afternoon. “And we’re really bad and there’s no hope and no prayer for us. But in the building, we’re close. We’re right there. Clean up a few things here and there -- third down -- and we can be a competitive football team offensively.”

So what we have here is different people looking at the same picture and seeing different images.

What we also have is the Jay Cutler honeymoon in Miami ending after three games.

Done. Over.

Fans are emailing every morning saying Cutler should be benched and I “must put pressure on the team to make this happen.” Other reporters are advocating Cutler should be benched in favor of Matt Moore.

Other reporters are asking coach Adam Gase if he intends to bench Cutler.

Yes, tons of fun being had by all.

And none of this is unfair because we don’t know anything of Cutler other than what we’ve seen and what we’ve seen the past two games is the Dolphins producing fewer first downs (27) than their opponents have points (46).

But here’s the thing: The Dolphins don’t give a rip about your point of view.

Gase doesn’t care you’re blaming Cutler for the team’s lack of points. Cutler isn’t even aware there have been calls in the media for his benching.

“I don’t see anything,” he said. “I’m not on social media. Sorry, I don’t read you guys’s stuff. I know what happens in this building. I know what we’re doing well, what we need to improve on. That’s offensively and personally. I know the temp and the pulse of this building. That’s kind of where it stops and starts.”

So now that we’ve established your opinions aren’t mattering, let me explain why the Dolphins have a point to keep Cutler as the starter for now.

The reasons a quarterback gets benched are usually pretty simple.

If the quarterback turns significant portions of the locker room against him because he’s careless with the football, then he needs to be benched. Cutler hasn’t done that.

If the quarterback doesn’t work at his craft or shows a bad attitude, or walks around the facility acting entitled, then he should be benched. This doesn’t apply to Cutler, either.

Cutler has no family in town. He lives in a hotel. He has no significant life in South Florida outside his work. So he’s immersed in the Dolphins and making them better.

The notorious Jay Cutler meme that doesn’t care about anything and gets through life as if sedated is, in fact, not accurate.

“I think the biggest thing is we just have to get him comfortable in the pocket,” Gase said, naming one of a couple of things the Dolphins would like Cutler to improve on.

“We’ve got to be able to let him set his feet. Really, that’s the No. 1 thing that we’ve just got to keep working on. I think if you ask any quarterback if they feel like they’re getting pressure and they’re trying to slide one way or the other and they’re throwing off balance, it’s going to be hard to be consistent on completions.”

That answer meant to list the things Cutler must improve is interesting because the coach is making it clear the pass protection for Cutler has been an issue.

“You only can make a throw if you’re upright,” Gase said at one point.

Gase doesn’t believe Cutler is a big problem. And the manner in which the coach defends his quarterback gives Cutler confidence because he’s not being betrayed.

“Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I came here,” Cutler said. “I knew the quarterback position, he holds that relationship in high regard. He’s always going to have your back.”

Having said all this, Cutler is aware he has to improve. He’s no longer considered a conquering hero marching into town to replace the injured Ryan Tannehill and promising better results than Tannehill every achieved.

Right now, Jay Cutler is merely a quarterback trying not to stink.

“The way we’re playing offensively, we can’t take anything for granted,” Cutler said of the coming game. “...If we flop it out there the way we have, they’re going to eat us up.”

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

  Comments