"He didn't come out of retirement to stand on the sideline," Gase told reporters at his Monday press conference.
Cutler, 34, signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dolphins on Sunday. He'd previously retired for a broadcasting job at Fox after finding a tepid market in free agency.
Gase coaxed Cutler out of retirement after starter Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury during training camp. Tannehill suffered a partially torn ACL last season but chose to rest rather than undergoing surgery this offseason. His non-contact injury of the same knee is expected to keep him out for the 2017 season, though no official announcement has been made.
Cutler spent the last eight seasons with the Chicago Bears. He's coming off the worst year of his professional career, throwing for 1,059 yards and four touchdowns against five interceptions. Injured and benched on multiple occasions, Cutler's final season was seemingly a dispiriting limp to the finish line for a career that's been better for what he's given credit.
Cutler ranks among the NFL's top 40 all time in passing yards (32,467) and touchdowns (208) lists while holding nearly every major Bears franchise passing mark. In 2015, Cutler posted a career-high 92.3 quarterback rating; his 2016 performance was more likely a one-year blip than anything.
Cutler and Gase have a relationship built on that 2015 campaign. Gase was the Bears' offensive coordinator under John Fox.