DAVIE — There is a play Jay Cutler made in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win at the Los Angeles Chargers that my colleague thinks I’m a bit obsessed about.
So I decided to ask the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, Clyde Christensen, about it before it got too late and we were on to the Jets. OK, to be honest, nobody in Miami’s locker room has really answered any questions about the Jets yet.
But I digress.
Here is the video, because, well, it’s fun to watch.
A breakdown of this play let the first 2017 edition of The Tape Don’t Lie.
Here’s a portion of The Daily Dolphin breakdown:
“The most interesting offensive play in Miami’s 19-17 win at the Los Angeles Chargers came in the fourth quarter, with the Dolphins trailing 17-13. This was a play that showed what Cutler, at 34, can do to buy extra opportunities for his receivers and how he can capitalize with just a tiny bit of time and space. Cutler rolled to his right to move the pocket, approached the line of scrimmage but then in the face of a pass-rusher, stopped dead in his tracks. Cutler then backed up three yards and while moving backwards, off-balance, flicked a pass to Parker, who ended up one yard ahead of a defensive back who was literally draping him.”
Another part of the play that intrigued me was that Cutler threw the ball while in a totally-less-than-ideal throwing position. You can see that here:
It seems we should expect more of this type of thing from Cutler. He doesn’t need to be in an ideal throwing position to make a play work. And as long as it works (it didn’t always in Chicago) he’s going to lauded for it, not criticized.
Here is what Miami’s offensive coordinator, Christensen, said about the play on Thursday:
““I would say his rhythmic throws are non-conventional. He kind of has an ability to throw the ball with his feet in a lot of different positions, which is a plus. That play falls in the category of ‘you don’t teach that.’ We do drill a lot of stuff, but that’s one of those that you just have a knack and he threw that thing really early. In fact, he let it go and it was one of those where the coaches are going ‘Oh, no. Oh, yes!’ DeVante (Parker) made a heck of a catch on that ball, over the top of him; but that was an anticipation throw. When he lets that ball go, there’s really no one open and (Parker) is a long ways from coming open. I think that was special. That was a huge, huge play in the thing. A big play – big catch, big throw.”
Cutler’s ability to buy time in the pocket, maneuver around and buy extra time for everyone has exceeded the expectations of Cutler’s teammates and coaches.
“He’s always had a knack for doing that; but it has surprised me how natural it is,” Christensen said. “It has surprised me just that he’s really good at it. I thought he did a really good job. He didn’t put the ball up. He took calculated chances. He wasn’t careless with the football. If you can calculate your shots – he gave DeVante (Parker) a couple of jump balls and 50/50 balls, which were great. We want those. He really did a great job of managing it. On the play to Kenny (Stills), he bought the time and that was huge. I think he is … I’ve said that. He’s just kind of natural.”
Cutler’s first performance as a Dolphin really created some encouragement and excitement.
“He has a great feel and you do forget he is a veteran,” Christensen said. “He’s played an awful lot of football games; but that’s not a taught behavior. He just kind of moves around and kind of knows where people are coming from and he does have a great knack. That’s going to be great with our Big 3 receivers. Those guys can run and jump and I can see more of the same where we’re going to get a couple of those balls downfield and we have a chance.”