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Hopes are high in South Beach with the Miami Dolphins one offseason removed from their first postseason appearance in eight years.

Count offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen as one Dolphin buying into the optimism. On Saturday, the coach predicted a huge 2017 for one of Miami’s former first-round selections, DeVante Parker.
“I really think the lifestyle and routine is better,” Christensen told reporters of Parker’s off-field situation, per the Palm Beach Post. “Sometimes when those young guys come into this thing, it takes them a while to fall into the routine of what it takes to put your body in position, sleep, eating, practicing and being able to make it through a 16-game season, especially for a receiver where you’re just running so much.

“All those things have gotten better for him, and I think they’ll all combine for him having a great year this year. I really think he’ll have a great, big year — a gigantic year for us. That would be huge.”

Parker was Miami’s second-leading receiver in 2016, tallying 56 catches on 87 targets for 744 yards and four touchdowns. The wideout’s production through two seasons hasn’t yet validated his status as a first-round pick in 2015, but might a second year in Adam Gase’s system open up some opportunities for the big-bodied receiver?

Miami saw glimpses of Parker’s potential in a dynamic fourth-quarter performance against the Rams in Week 11. But Gase also said this offseason that, for Parker to stay in his good graces, he has to start coming into meetings on time, being consistent in his work ethic and acting like a professional football player.

The former 14th-overall selection has a looming prove-it year ahead of him. Can Parker live up to his O.C.’s expectations with a fifth-year option on the line?

“We’re kinda seeing what we were hoping to see, and that’s a healthy DeVante Parker — he’s running better than I’ve seen him run since I’ve been here — and a hungry DeVante Parker,” Christensen added. “He’s been around a lot more than last year. He’s practicing hard. He’s kinda zeroed in on this thing. We are seeing what we wanted to see out of him.”

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Jay Cutler is at peace with retirement.

If there was any question about whether the ex-Bears quarterback would dash from the FOX Sports TV booth for a starting job midseason, Cutler quashed the speculation on Friday.
“Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I think so,” Cutler said on WMVP-AM’s The Waddle and Silvy Show in Chicago, when asked if his move to broadcasting was permanent. “It is. I don’t really see anything else happening. I’m happy with where I am, you know, in my life and really in the future going forward. So, yeah, we can go ahead and say it. It’s permanent.”

Cutler later added he plans to file official retirement papers — but admitted he doesn’t really understand what that entails: “I don’t even know what that means. Do you get a medal or a prize or something?”

Cutler joins a three-man booth with FOX’s Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis. His first assignment will be an Aug. 27 preseason game between the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears.

Cutler noted that if he were not cut by the Bears, he would have played in Chicago in 2017, putting off retirement.

The 34-year-old said when the idea of a broadcasting career was first floated he thought “there’s no way in hell I’m doing this. This is literally the last thing I want to do.”

With no team willing to give him a chance at a starting quarterback gig, Cutler’s mind changed on becoming a broadcaster. That doesn’t mean he won’t get the itch to play.

“There is zero doubt in my mind that there is going to be some regret,” Cutler said of retiring. “… I have no doubt in my mind come the middle of August, September there is going to be that itch to play. There is going to be part of me that I know I can still do it. But that’s now how the cards played out, and that’s not where we are at. I just don’t feel comfortable with a situation in August or September of jumping back into it, even if that situation arises, which I don’t think it’s going to.”

The last note rings as the most poignant: No starting opportunities were coming Cutler’s way.

Like with most NFL players, the league essentially retired Cutler, not the other way around.

As for Cutler’s new gig, if he is as candid as he was in Friday’s radio interview, he’ll be fine in the FOX booth. An example of his dry sense of humor: When asked about how his kids are now that he’s watching them more, the ex-quarterback quipped, “Alive.”

Giddy-up on the Cutler broadcasting career.