Fans of the Miami Dolphins got a chance to see the team’s newest quarterback Tuesday as Jay Cutler went through his first practice with the team.
Cutler, who signed a one-year deal worth a reported $10 million dollars, wore the same No. 6 that he did during his previous 11 seasons with the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears. Head coach Adam Gase, who served as an assistant coach with Cutler with the Bears in 2015, has previously said Cutler will not play in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
When Tuesday's workout ended, the 34-year-old Cutler said he had no second thoughts about deciding to renew his working relationship with Gase and return for another season.
"It felt right," Cutler said. "Going into work and getting here and going through the motions of the practice, it felt good. I told Adam thanks for bringing me in. It's fun to be back out here."
The team signed the veteran quarterback after their starter, Ryan Tannehill, went down with an injury to the same knee in which he tore his ACL during the 2016 season. The Dolphins have said surgery could be an option, which would sideline Tannehill for the entire season.
"He remembers basically everything with the offense," Gase said. "He said he felt good, and he's not going to sugarcoat anything with me. He felt just right back in it."
Said Cutler: "It's kind of a crash course, if you already took the course before."
Cutler is expected to compete with Matt Moore for the starting spot and will likely see his first game action on August 17th when the team hosts the Baltimore Ravens in their second preseason game.
He underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery last December, but said his arm felt good and will need only a couple of days to be 100 percent. His timing will take a little bit to come back, he said, and the 88-degree morning temperature was hotter than he's used to.
Cutler's best moment came in individual drills, when he threw a 45-yard tight spiral that hit Jakeem Grant in stride at the goal line. Grant, a second-year reserve, described the moment as a dream come true.
"Everybody in the locker room grew up watching Jay," Grant said. "It's an honor for him to be on the team."
Cutler might not know Grant's name yet, but he seemed intent on getting to know everyone quickly. He spent much of practice engaged in steady conversation with Moore, quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree and even Tannehill.
"It's a tough situation for Ryan," Cutler said. "He has been great and supportive. He just wants to help this team win games."
Also supportive was Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Cutler's nemesis when they were rivals in the NFC North.
"I've played against him many, many times," Suh said. "I actually got my first sack against him. A good dude. I don't like any quarterbacks, but he was one guy I definitely had respect for, because he took hits and never cried, never complained, just got up and played the next play."