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Sizing Up The Dolphins' Offense With Cutler

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Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the seismic change, the Miami Dolphins have experienced at quarterback during the past week, it's reasonable to assume that head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen will look to at least somewhat modify the team's offensive playbook and game plan to better utilize Jay Cutler's strengths while minimizing his weaknesses. Cutler isn't nearly the athlete that Ryan Tannehill is, and If the opposing team's pass rushers are able to break through the line and collapse the pocket, Jay is much more likely than Tannehill to panic and make a bad decision.

Cutler, though, when given sufficient time, can be an absolutely lethal quarterback on pass plays down the field. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the team were to make a trade for a veteran lineman to better protect Cutler. He can make all the throws and zings the ball with authority. Despite the lack of respect he received in Chicago, he's the leading passer in Bears history by a wide margin. What his critics fail to take into account is that Chicago was well below average on defense for much of his time there. You're just not going to fool anyone when you're behind by double digits on the scoreboard much of the game. When the other team knows that you have to throw the ball on almost every down, they can largely forget about the running game and go hard after your quarterback.

In 2015, when Gase was the Bears' offensive coordinator, Chicago's leading receiver was WR Alshon Jeffery (Brandon Marshall was allowed to leave in free agency and signed with the Jets a year earlier) with 54 catches for 807 yards and 4 touchdowns. Fellow wideout Marquess Wilson had 28 receptions for 464 yards and one touchdown, while TE's Zach Miller and Martellus Bennett both had 439 yards; Miller averaged 12.9 yards per catch, Bennett 8.3. Despite not being known as a QB who throws many passes to his backs, Cutler found Matt Forte' 44 times in 2015, for 389 yards (8.8 YPC) and three touchdowns. Miami obviously doesn't have a back with Forte's receiving skills, but I happen to believe that Damien Williams could have an outstanding season catching the ball with Cutler under center.

Adam Gase probably knows Cutler better than just about anyone not named Kristin Cavallari, so if anyone can get the best out of him, he can. Since I'm not a big X's and O's guy, I'm going to defer to some of the more knowledgeable folks here, like CT, Chris, Sutton (shut up Sutton, you're brilliant!) and Fly. What adjustments or modifications do you think the Dolphins will make on offense this season? Thanks, guys.