DAVIE (CBSMiami) – It was a big day at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility on Tuesday as new quarterback Jay Cutler took the field for the first time.
Cutler was impressive in his Dolphins practice debut, showing off the arm that has made difficult throws look easy over the course of his 11-year career.
While Cutler was the main attraction in Davie, there were some other interesting tidbits to take from Tuesday’s workout.
Jay Ajayi was on the field for part of the practice, in uniform and participating in individual drills with his teammates.
He remains in the concussion protocol though and did not take any contact.
Players missing from practice were Nate Allen (calf), Neville Hewitt (shoulder), Mike Pouncey (hip) and Laremy Tunsil (personal).
The Dolphins made several players and head coach Adam Gase available to the media.
Here are some of their best quotes:
“[Cutler looked] the same when I saw him last time. He was good. He remembers basically everything with the offense. The biggest thing for him was just kind of getting that feel with the rush. It’s one thing to throw when we’re routes-on-air or one-on-ones, but to get in there and be able to take some reps with the line in there and just be able to see everything kind of develop and our players body language and how they run routes, that’s the biggest difference for him, and just kind of getting that feel back from pass rush.”
“Our guys do a good job. They adjust well and Matt [Moore] does a good job. It’s like when he jumped in there, you just keep rolling. Guys just keep doing what they’re supposed to do. That’s why we try to be as detailed as we can when we’re running routes, no matter who is back there. The quarterbacks, if they’re not, when Ryan [Tannehill] was practicing and Matt was the backup, I mean you knew how those guys all ran routes by when we go through the film of practice and when he jumped in there, it was nice and smooth. It just seems like whoever we’ve put back there, receivers, the line – all those guys – the backs, they do a good job. They stay consistent.”
“I would be hard pressed to [play Jay Ajayi on Thursday]. I’ve got to wait for him to be officially cleared from the protocol. He’s still in it. This is kind of part of the process with that. So I’ll be smart. I haven’t met on this one yet because you don’t do it until the day before.”
“The more reps [Kenyan Drake] can get, the better. Last year, we were kind of in and out in the spring. We had so much work to do with Jay [Ajayi] and then Arian [Foster] was here and Damien [Williams], and he kind of got lost in the shuffle a little bit. So being able to get him as many reps as we can is valuable for us and just getting him comfortable and understanding how everything works with the run game, where he fits, where he’s supposed to go. The reps for him are very, very important.”
“I think [Jakeem Grant] just feels comfortable. He understands what he’s supposed to do. He doesn’t have to worry about all these different options you have inside. That’s why the slot is a lot harder than a lot of people realize. You’re working off the DB a lot and trying to figure out leverages and what you’re supposed to do to be on the same page as the quarterback. I think putting him out there on the outside lets him use his strength, his quickness off the ball, his vertical speed. When he makes a cut, he creates separation. If you get the ball in his hands and there’s open space, it’s a dangerous situation for the defense. I just see a guy that’s very focused. He wants to do right. He’s really been good in the meetings. He’s trying to be one of those guys that does things as perfect as he can. It’s been good so far.”
“There’s no medical update [on Ryan Tannehill]. As far as what he’s going to do, we just talked about staying engaged. He’s going to be able to help me a lot. So it’s not an easy situation for him to be in. It’s tough to stand there and watch when you’ve worked as hard as he has to come back and he knows what kind of team this is. He knows that these guys have been doing things together for the last eight months or so … seven months. It’s tough when you put that much work in there to have to sit out. He’ll stay involved. I mean I know it’s important for him. He wants us to win, so he’s going to do whatever he can to help.”
“I think [the preseason is] a great opportunity for the guys to prove what they’ve been doing out here in a real game. You get to tackle. Every time you think you’re sacked or it’s a negative play, now you have to take the guy to the ground. It’s good. We need it. That’s why we did live periods this year, to get better at tackling, blocking and finishing plays. These preseason games are a continuation of that.”
“I think [Jay Cutler is] a great quarterback. Obviously I’ve played against him many, many times. I actually got my first sack against him. I’m looking forward to it – going against him and practice and whatnot. [He’s a] good dude.”
“I definitely have the ultimate respect for [Cutler]. I don’t like any quarterbacks but he was one guy that I definitely had a respect for because he took hits and never cried, never complained and just got up and went and played the next play.”
“Honestly, [Cutler is] one of those quarterbacks that makes you earn sacks. He would get to the sideline, throw the ball out – you’d have to chase him and make sure you get there and make sure it’s a real sack because he wasn’t going to give you any gimmes by any means.”
“I’m excited for [the preseason]. I think all of the guys are excited for it. Going to hit some other faces is going to be great, especially a team that we’re going to see in the regular season. [The Falcons] were in the Super Bowl last year so we have some things we can really learn from them and play against them and get our first taste of where we’re at this year.”
“I’ve been very upfront with the team [about the legal situation]. I’ve been very upfront with the law enforcement. I’m here at training camp to help my guys get better. I don’t want any bad attention to me, this organization, Adam [Gase], nobody. I don’t believe this is the place for it or the time for it. I think that, again like I said, I’ve been very upfront with the team and I’ve been very upfront with the law enforcement. I put that in their hands and that’s really all I have to say about it.”
“I finally get a chance to see [Cutler] out here today and have an opportunity to take a couple of reps with him today. I think he slung it pretty well.”
“We didn’t hookup today; but hopefully tomorrow we get a chance to hookup and I’ll give you a better analysis tomorrow.”
“Honestly, when you walk into this facility and you’re wearing these colors, you are family. For Jay [Cutler], we welcomed him with opened arms. We’ve extended all of our contacts, all of our resources to him and his family. That’s just what it is.”
“I think Adam [Gase] is doing a great job with these guys and this group works really hard. It makes it easy on the quarterbacks the way receivers, running backs and the offensive line work. It’s a fun group. It’s good being back out [there].”
“It’s kind of a crash course if you already took the course before. Some of the run game stuff has changed. The passing game is kind of relatively the same. The protections are changed up a little bit. I’m just kind of working with [Quarterbacks Coach] Bo [Hardegree] out there and going through the run game and making sure I’m clean on that. It’ll come back quickly.”
“[My arm is] good. I think a couple more days out here and I’ll be back and be 100 [percent]. It’s a little hotter out than I’m used to, but it was fun. It was fun being out [there].”
“It’s awesome to have a guy like [Dan Marino] in the building. To have him around and his expertise, especially on the quarterback position, and to see him around, it makes guys fired up to have a Hall of Famer and a guy that played at his level.”
“[Marino has] a wealth of advice. He’s been through it all. He’s experienced it all – highs and lows – and played at the top of the game. To have a dude like that at your disposal, you have to use him.”
“Practice felt back to work. This morning I think I woke up in the hotel and I didn’t know where I was at. I had to get my bearings for a minute and remember I was back in Miami. It’s going to start feeling like home and everything will settle down.”
“I’m happy [Ndamukong Suh is] on my team. He texted me whenever we got it done. He told me he was just patting me on the way by in 11-on-11s. To have a guy like that on your side is always a good thing.”
“It’s a tough situation for [Ryan Tannehill]. I’ve been hurt before. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re going to have a great year and something like this is a setback; but he’s been great. This is Day 1 … I guess yesterday was Day 1; but since I got here yesterday, he’s been supportive and helping out the receivers. He’s vocal. He just wants to help this team win games.”