Miami Dolphins’ Adam Gase isn’t wild about criticism of Jay Cutler in Wildcat

Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler talks about what went wrong after the loss to the Saints in London. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

DAVIE — In a 20-0 loss, it was the most dissected play of the day — even though it’s a play that went down on the official stat sheet as “no play.”

It was a first-and-20 play early in the Dolphins’ loss to the Saints, when they reached into the attic and dusted off the Wildcat formation. Mike Pouncey snapped the ball directly to running back Jay Ajayi, but what has many transfixed is that quarterback Jay Cutler, lined up wide, stood with hands on hips as Ajayi ran up the middle for no gain.

Officially, none of that happened because receiver Kenny Stills was penalized for lining up wrong, creating a first-and-25 in a drive that reached the Saints’ 4-yard line before Cutler threw an interception in the end zone.

Now, you’d think the interception would draw more criticism than anything, but many of Cutler’s critics don’t get why he wasn’t making an attempt to contribute to the play. And given how coach Adam Gase has this week come to Cutler’s defense, it’s the last thing Gase wants to hear.

Cutler was just doing what he’s supposed to do, Gase said, to avoid getting creamed.

“As soon as he steps forward, they can knock the — I won’t say it,” Gase said. “But they can hit him. If steps back or doesn’t move, now you’re looking at a different kind of penalties.

“Until you go through it where a quarterback steps off the ball and starts working downfield and you watch one of them get blasted … you know, I’ve got a little experience, so I kind of know what I’m doing.”

Pressed by a reporter about Cutler’s posture, Gase said, “You guys worry about a lot more things than I do.”

Gase was frustrated by the result of the play, because he apparently saw an opportunity to capitalize on something they’d seen on film.

“We thought we were good,” Gase said. “We just didn’t do a good job executing it.”

He said the play essentially was the same as a standard play with Cutler taking the snap, but something went amiss anyway.

“Everything’s the same,” Gase said. “It’s not that hard.”

Not only did the Dolphins not get the yardage Gase envisioned from the play, but it also disrupted what came next, because the Dolphins were using it to set up something else.

“Maybe I had something off of that, that I wanted to call at some point,” Gase said. “It’s very frustrating on that play, knowing what we kind of had planned and what happened.”

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