Two of the three Florida NFL teams had quarterback questions entering this season. One of those teams seems to have found its solution.
Veteran Jay Cutler, who was on his way to another career in broadcasting, made his debut for the Miami Dolphins against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday. Cutler wasn’t spectacular in the outing, but coaches and teammates saw enough to know he was in control of the offense, according to NFL.com.
The Dolphins played it safe with Cutler, who at 34 has seen his share of action in stints with Denver and Chicago, and was retired just a few short weeks ago. Cutler played two series in the 34-7 loss and Miami coach Adam Gase pulled the QB after a big hit midway through the first quarter.
“If anyone hits him hard I’m getting him out of there,” Gase told NFL.com before the game.
Cutler was the fallback after starter Ryan Tannehill was lost for the season to a knee injury earlier this preseason. Matt Moore, who started Miami’s wildcard playoff game last season in place of an injured Tannehill, is the backup.
Cutler is expected to be named the starter given his pedigree. Moore has shown he’s capable of carrying the load as well so the position is in good hands for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins have two more road preseason games against Philadelphia and Minnesota, respectively. Cutler will have time to grow more comfortable in the offense before the season opener at home against Tampa Bay Sept. 10. The Buccaneers are the lone Florida team with an unquestioned starter in Jameis Winston.
The same night Cutler made his debut, Jacksonville stared down a QB issue after another lackluster outing by incumbent starter Blake Bortles, NFL.com reported. Bortles has thrown for 81 yards in two preseason appearances. Backups Chad Henne (183 yards, touchdown) and Brandon Allen (229 yards, two TDs) have been more impressive.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone told NFL.com the position is wide open.
“It’s this simple: I’m looking for the best person to lead this offense,” he said. “(The position) is right up there for grabs, and either person can take it.”
Jacksonville’s next game is in six days, as of this writing. The QB position is uncertain and has been so for the better part of a decade. The team hasn’t had consistent play there since Mark Brunell helmed the position from 1995-2003.
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