Repeat after me: In You Trust. In Gase You Trust. In Gase You …
can be Chad Pennington. The season can be saved. Sunday at the very least was the start of a new week, . But does it lead anywhere but a 7-9 record at this point?
Gase went through his proper progressions like any good offensive mind. He called his top former quarterback, , last December when went down the first time with a knee injury.
Manning said no. Cutler got the call and a modest $10 million (plus incentives) when Tannehill re-injured the knee. Debate if signing Cutler is a good or bad move, if you want.
But let’s be clear. Good and bad aren’t on the table in August when you need a starting NFL quarterback. This is best-option-available territory. Gase thought Cutler fit that emergency bill. Gase, who worked with Cutler in Chicago.
Gase, who knows what skill set is necessary for his offense.
Gase, whose specialty is quarterbacks.
Sure, the season might sink with Cutler running the show. It might sink without him at this point, too. But what options did the Dolphins have when Tannehill took a full offseason of hope probably to surgery at this point.
? Sure, he was the “right-now” quarterback on Friday. Gase has worked with Moore for more than a year. He saw Moore start four games for Tannehill last season and post good numbers (eight touchdowns, three interceptions, 105.3 passer rating).
Gase thought Cutler was the better bet. Again, feel free to debate that. But again: Any second-guess runs up against the first-hand knowledge of a coach with a developed reputation as a Quarterback Whisperer.
? He’s out there. Know this, too: Dolphins owner Steve Ross didn’t block the move because of Kaepernick’s national-anthem-kneeling, Fidel-Castro-defending stance.
Gase evidently didn’t think he was a good fit for this offense. See above about second-guessing this move.
Look around. See anyone else in August? Gase’s list of former quarterbacks was down to Tim Tebow being called up from the Port St. Lucie Mets. That would’ve been fun.
So you don’t have to like Cutler’s reputation of a sour-puss attitude, untidy decisions or how he’s never matched the potential in his arm. Nor don’t worry that he was never too popular with teammates, though it’s fair to note Moore is Mr. Popularity in the Dolphins locker room.
Still, Cutler’s best year in Chicago was the one year with Gase. With little help around him, he posted a 92.3 rating — the only time in his 11 years his rating was north of 90. Gase regularly has dismissed any criticism of Cutler, too.
“The player I read and hear you guys talk about isn’t the one I know,” he said earlier this year to the media.
Much will be made about the time left for Cutler to get to know these players and this offense. No doubt it’s an issue. But let’s not over do it. Sunday was Aug. 6. Pennington signed with the Dolphins on Aug. 9, 2008.
Pennington somehow figured out the playbook and the players to finish second in Most Valuable Player voting for the league that year. Cutler is a veteran with knowledge of Gase’s system. Knowing the offense won’t be an issue come September.
Winning games will be.
Besides, the real historical context here is the curse of the Dolphins quarterback going back to when suffered his Achilles tear in 1993. He played his final years with a limp.
’ injured shoulder wasn’t picked over Daunte Culpepper’s injured knee. Pennington got hurt out the box in Year 2. Tannehill hurt his knee, and whatever odds he played in not having surgery didn’t work out.
Just when Tannehill’s career was lining up, he’s expected to have surgery and the Dolphins quarterback again feels like a star-crossed position. Now Cutler comes in and it’s a finger-crossed decision.
It’s not good or bad. It’s the best option as Gase sees it. He knows quarterbacks. He knows Cutler and Moore. He also knows early August isn’t a time to be looking for a starting quarterback.
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