Jay Cutler’s deep ball metrics weren’t very good in his one season with Adam Gase in Chicago.
But Cutler’s accuracy on vertical throws has been exemplary since joining the Dolphins, and that continued Tuesday, when Cutler completed throws of at least 50 yards to DeVante Parker and 35 yards to Kenny Stills.
Cutler has developed terrific chemistry with Parker, hitting the 2015 first-round pick for multiple long gains over the past three weeks, including a 72-yard bomb to Parker in last Thursday’s preseason game at Philadelphia.
Though Parker was well-covered on the play, Cutler indicated he’s comfortable taking those kind of chances with Parker.
“As long as there’s just one (defender), the ball’s going to go up to him,” Cutler said.
With Gase as his offensive coordinator in Chicago in 2015, Cutler threw 73 passes that traveled in the air least 20 yards. He completed or benefited from a defensive penalty on 30 of those 73 passes in those 15 games, ESPN’s KC Joyner said by email.
Ryan Tannehill was much more efficient on deep balls that year, with 19 of 41 successful for the offense.
As far as air yards – passing yards eliminating all yards after catch – Tannehill was 11th and Cutler 18th in the NFL, coincidentally, in both 2014 and 2015, according to sportingcharts.com.
Is the best Gase has seen Cutler throw the deep ball?
“It’s hard for me to say,” Gase said. “He had some good practices. Same thing there. In practice, if we can hook up like we did today, that’s always good. We’re just going to keep moving the ball around. We did some more situational work, so it kind of called for that. But I see all our guys being used at all different levels.
“The more experience you get, the better you’re going to get at those type of things. I think early in his career it was more that former ball down the field, more of a line and now he knows what type of ball to throw. So he’s gotten really good at it. He’s had a lot of experiences with some bigger guys that he’s been able to make more of the touch throws down the field.”
Jarvis Landry, who gracefully handled a question about whether Cutler prefers throwing deep to Parker, said what has pleasantly surprised him about Cutler is “his ability to pick up everything so fast. He’s been in the offense. For him to come out here and hit DeVante on the long ball here in two- minute, still hooking up with me, Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas, just that chemistry we need going into the season. Big shout out to me.”
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