When the Miami Dolphins brought Jay Cutler in, most people looked at it as a quick fix at best, and a catastrophic (though comical) failure at worst. Sure, he had familiarity with Dolphins coach Adam Gase, who served as Chicago’s offensive coordinator for Cutler’s best year as a Bear. But coming in late in the offseason, after having committed to the broadcast booth? While also being Jay Cutler, a gunslinging quarterback with an unfortunate proclivity for misfiring?

But here’s the thing: he’s actually not a bad player. He’s not a great player, and he does have a bad game (or four) every season. But the excuses people made for him in Chicago weren’t without merit. Look at the list of offensive coaches he played under. The only one who is still in any real demand is Gase, with whom Cutler succeeded. And whenever Cutler was injured, save a fluky Josh McCown run, the Bears offense was hopelessly lost. (Best exemplified by the infamous punt game in Seattle, helmed by the legendary Jimmy Clausen.)

So, with Miami looking to capture some of the Good Jay magic, he started his first preseason game last night against the Eagles. Things did not go well early on:

Nice blocking there from Laremy Tunsil. But, after that early miscue, things quickly improved:


Cutler led three touchdown drives after the fumble.

Those deep balls are so pure, and that’s exactly why he remains a viable quarterback option, especially in the right situations. He can drive it into tight windows down the field, and that’s a shockingly rare talent. That jump ball down the sidelines to Devante Parker is a perfect play, and nearly indefensible. I’m also partial to the intentional spike at 1:07, where he threw it at the feet of Jay Ajayi rather than take the sack.

Mike Mayock’s commentary was something like “Whether or not you like Jay Cutler, that’s exactly what quarterbacks are coached to do.” Then, after a replay demonstrated exactly what Cutler had done, continued: “That’s great coaching.”

This typifies the kind of commentary reserved for Cutler, who has instincts to make plays like this for which other quarterbacks would get sole credit; in his case, commentators, pundits, and other players can’t find it within themselves to praise him in similarly unbridled fashion.

And hey, maybe Cutler hasn’t earned it! Everyone’s free to have their opinions. Cutler likely doesn’t care about them, at this point. But he’s also a hell of a lot better than Matt Moore has familiarity with Gase’s system, and is perhaps the perfect “change of scenery” candidate. I hope he plays well for Miami.

Plus, if he doesn’t, he’ll likely be playing poorly in a hilarious fashion.

[Photo Credit: @NFLonCBS]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.