When you’ve done a good job someone sees it and usually says something. When more work needs to be done, someone sees and usually says something. And regardless of the direction of the voice - either telling or hearing - we all must have our eyes and ears open and be ready to work.
The Miami Dolphins have work to do but their head coach left a very vocal and productive leader and worker unemployed.
The Phins lost starting Quarterback Ryan Tannehill because of a knee injury he suffered while training. The team has since signed former Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler who Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase wanted because he worked with him previously. Starting left guard Ted Larsen is also out with a bicep injury on a team that allowed 30 sacks last season, which is the 10th fewest.
Gase is apparently a QB whisperer. But how good of a whisperer is he if he went with an older, less mobile and statistically inferior QB?
Because a better QB was saying, quite loudly through his on the field work, “hey! I’m over here,” all last season.
Here are former San Francisco 49ers starting QB Colin Kaepernick’s stats from 2016 : 60% completion rate, 16-4 TD-Interception ratio, 2,241 yards in the air over 12 games (186/game), 468 yards on the ground which is about 6.8 yards/carry and 90.7 QB rating.
Here are Cutler’s stats from 2016 throughout five games: 60% completion rate, 4-5 TD-Interception ratio, 1059 yards in the air over 5, games (211/game), 24 yards on the ground and 78.1 QB rating.
Kaep played 12 games and finished 29th in passing. Cutler played five games, finished 36th in passing and Gase did have to whisper him out of retirement.
The term “whisperer” means that someone can get a particular group to understand them. Or in the sports context, be able to coach them up to perform better. When Cutler and Gase were both on the Chicago Bears Cutler had 92.3 rating.
So Gase can get the best out of his starting quarterback. So why not Kaep?
In 2015, Gase interviewed for head coach of the 49ers while Kaep was the starter and had an offensive plan ready. So he is familiar with the more-talented player he could have signed.
Because Cutler fits Gase’s offense and NOT because of his “national-anthem-kneeling, Fidel-Castro-defending stance,” as Sun Sentinel sports columnist Dave Hyde put it. According to Hyde, and another NFL reporter, Dolphins owner Steven Ross did not block Kaep being on the team.
And Gase should have accounted for a very major "unquantifiable:" player morale.
Consider how the defense feels giving up the field to a Cutler-led offense, knowing they made the playoffs last year. Fans can, do and may consider seasons a wash, but so what for us? We don't go to any games or maybe one because, "eh why not?" But a defense putting their all on the field than sitting and watching sack after sack, and an extra interception for every touchdown. Now compare that to 12 more touchdowns for Kaep's 4 interceptions from 2016.
So while owners, coaches and players can say whatever they want, numbers tell a different story and are also very loud about what they’re saying.
But I wonder if Gase believes he can whisper Kaep into an even better QB, or if he would have to yell it out of him.