Dolphins safety Michael Thomas has been in the NFL for several years and has played for Miami since 2013. So he’s been around. He knows the league, he knows the players, and he knows how people perceive those players.
So he had a perception – or was at least aware of the perception – of Jay Cutler.
Only it was wrong.
“It’s crazy because honestly, there were all types of rumors,” Thomas said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “You see the memes left and right. Even when he wasn’t a part of our team, you saw everything and you heard everything. But since day one, he stepped in that locker room – he’s been cool, man. He’s been cool. And I think because we have so many leaders on our team, he didn’t come in trying to demand anything. He wasn’t asked to be the team leader. He came in and did his job. He was a little quiet, but at the same time, when guys would try to crack jokes with him, he’ll respond. He’ll crack jokes back. But in this game, in football, you earn respect with your play.”
Cutler earned that respect in Miami’s season-opening 19-17 win over the Chargers on Sunday. He finished 24-of-33 for 230 yards and a touchdown, finding Jarvis Landry 13 times for 78 yards and DeVante Parker four times for 85 yards. Miami trailed 17-10 late in the third quarter but scored the final nine points of the game to win by two.
Cutler, and the Dolphins, were happy to win.
“The very first day he stepped out on the field, we saw what type of arm he had,” Thomas said. “He was out there throwing dimes, creating that connection with DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry from the jump. So guys respect him. I respect him, man. I can’t lie to you.”
Miami (1-0) will go for 2-0 this Sunday against the Jets (0-2). Kickoff from MetLife Stadium is slated for 1 p.m. ET.