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Dolphins fire John Bonamego, promote Rizzi

The Dolphins have fired special teams coach John Bonamego and replaced him with assistant special teams coach Darren Rizzi, according to coach Tony Sparano.

The decision was made by Sparano overnight.

Bonamego was Miami's special teams coordinator since 2008. He was the coach most responsible for the poor play of the teams the past two weeks when the Dolphins had two punts blocked, had a field goal blocked and returned for a TD, and gave up a 103-yard kickoff return TD.

Rizzi joined the Dolphins in 2009 and had no previous experience in the NFL prior to that. Rizzi has been coaching in college since 1993 through  2008 with Colgate, New Haven, Northeastern, New Haven again as the head coach, Rutgers and Rhode Island as the head coach.

In announcing Bonamego's departure, Sparano called it a "tough decision," cautioned that "it ain't all broke," and "players also have to take responsibility."

There will be some changes with players also in the coming weeks although there are no specifics at this time. The Dolphins have used starters on special teams, including Tim Dobbins, Jason Allen and Cameron Wake.

"I want my core players to play better on special teams right now," Sparano said. "To be honest, if we need to put more starters in there, we'll look at that."

I recognize that some of you will view this move as a day late and three touchdowns allowed short. The special teams, after all, have struggled for years in Miami with last week's Jets game being among the worst of that.

In that regard, Sparano might have moved one week sooner.

But doing it today, after Monday night's meltdown which I described in my Miami Herald column as an epic failure, is better than nothing. It is a risk. Rizzi might not be the permanent fix. And as the assistant, he was part of the staff that authored the problem as well.

But perhaps he will oversee changes. Perhaps he will correct the issues with blocking schemes against line stunts that Bonamego clearly did not. I would start with Pat McQuistan, who simply didn't block anyone on one of the blocked kicks last night.

We'll see how it turns out. 


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The only coach pulling his weight is nolan...i would rid myself of the rest, TS included...

when is henning getting fired? And is henne our QB for green bay? I think penny should start there

So it appears they won't look outside the organization? Rizzi will get his shot?

Cant say I didn't see this coming. I just hope Rizzi knows what he is doing.

Why would you promote the assistant ST coach? Is he not to blame for this failure also? As TS says the ST guys have to do their assignments, so the blame isn't solely on the coaches.

I trust Tony but I think they need to improve on the offensive playcalling. Run more and then work the playaction in to help Henne develop. Also, I am fine with the wildcat but not on 3rd and 6.

Sparano said there's no truth to any qb controversy. Henne's still our guy. As to Henning, I'm with you, what happened to our running game?

I said it yesterday@halftime(check my post)..fire our st coach..i think the whole staff w the exception of nolan is on the hot seat..coaching has lost us a few games the last couple years..i hope ross makes Cower an offer he can't refuse this of season!!last night was embarrassing 2b a fin fan..i don't believe that wouldve happened under cowers watch!! What a long 2weeks 2go

yeahhhhhhh!!! finally they did somerhing smart

This is a start.
What does Tony Sparano do when he runs out of punching bags?

'Jetssuck' I've been saying that for a long time, I completely agree w/ you. Sparano never admits when he's wrong. In my opinion he's way to stubborn and proud. Henning has to go ASAP way to conservative.

there was one guy in his blog that had a good point that they are always changing the bottom of the roster all the time and many of these guys are special teamers so how do you expect them to gel if the parts keep being changed all the time I mean this is what they do all year around you should not keep shuffling players in and out all the time I am sure this had something to do with the bad special teams play find out who your guys are and coach them up this is thier 3rd year they should have everybody they want on this team by now, the constant shuffling makes it look like they don't know what they are doing, that second half was the worst I have ever seen the dolphins play and I have been watching since the early 70s and that includes the 1 and 15 season I watched every game and never saw anything that looked like last night, and here we go again hiring somebody that has no experience

Henne bashers can't pin the loss on him. 21 points of special team mishaps is what lost us this game. 74% completion, 2 TDS, 300+ Yds is good for a developing QB despite the 2 INTs if we improve our playcalling on Offense(Fire Henning) we should be fine...Along with getting Crowder back, Dobbins is invisible.

t bone---i was thinking about cower myself...the only problem is that he wants all the power...that means we start again...

as per players, we are almost there...very talented group with small holes...therefore the problem rests with schemes and preparation and that is coaching...

Shame it has taken total failures in the games that count, to make a decision that should have been made before they started counting. Who does that fall on? He is still fairly new at this coaching thing? Just now learning special teams matter?

He's really green as far as coaching goes...not sure about the replacement guy but the axe had to fall on Bono finally!!!

This termination is appropriate, and well-earned. But the team lacks playmakers on special teams. At a mininum, the blocking must improve, which should be an issue of technique.

I would imagine Rizzi is just a stop-gap.
Unless he gets it done (hope he does), he's a goner as well.

Start Penninton bench Henne for the rest of the well dawn season and try to finish at least 6-10 fire Hennin to like the special team coach.

Will Crowder ever be back? We need him vs the run!!! That was painful watching Woodhead run on us last night!

from what I saw this game should have been 21-0 at halftime. Henne throws two picks when he went underneath. Both times, it appeared we had open recievers down the middle of the field. Take those two pics away and thrown to the OPEN reciever and this game is completely different. Henne needs to step up and I have been a supporter.

This decision is not 2 weeks too late, it's 2 years too late. Promoting from within wasn't the thing to do either. Like Mando said, he's part of the problem.

Where is Micah Johnson? He is a BEAST and has to be better than Tim "NO SHOW" Dobbins. Last night's game was pathetic. And where did all these PATs fans come from. Has anyone seen the posts' on the columns. SHEESH!!!

I consider it 1 season 4 games too late. Our special teams have been absolute crap ever since Bonehead-a-whatever has been in charge. Good riddance, we wont miss you.

Bench Henne? Are you guys serious??? have you seen Pennington throw a ball???? He would only add to the problems. You guys need to get a friggin clue.

Clearly Bonamego was not getting it done. Our coverage units have been very poor for awhile now and our return game has been crap. Sure, Ginn occassionally ran back a kick off for TD to mask the problem but our special teams have been mediocre at best. This season has been a debacle on special teams and the obvious failure to correct the issues rightfully cost Bonamego his job.

With that said, I also believe the constant "churning" of the bottom of the roster has also contributed to the special teams' failures. Many of these so called "core" special teamers weren't even with the team until week 1. The constant shuffling of players has clearly cost the unit any type of cohesion. It is difficult to build any consistency when players' roles are constantly changing.

canes, i was thinking the same thing last night. one thing micah can do is play the run which dobbins can't do. get him in there if channing can't go.

When will Sparano do the old "Roman way out" I believe this is the only way that the fins advance from here........I'am more shocked now then I was when Dave(No nut sack)Wannstadt coached this team, Losing two games of this magnitude two weeks in a row is inexcusable....

All the bench Henne talk is ridiculous.
If you are going to bench someone, bench the coaches (Nolan not included).
We are getting out coached.

As a matter of fact, we are also getting out "front officed."

We should have scored 21 points by halftime. But Henne's blunders; 2 interceptions that New England couldn't even get a touchdown off of were not the real problem. 21 points given as a gift by special teams is what did us in. The sad part is we were stillll in the game until the blocked field goal. That tells me the loss was completly self inflicted.

One coach down, more to come if things don't turn around including Sparano. Take a look the film today and bench and cut some players, a message needs to be sent ASAFP if they want to turn this season around. The interior OL is terrible, poor tackling (again), and endless list of problems. Get Parcells down on the field for practice the next couple weeks and run these players through preseason drills all over again until they get em right.

Yesterday's loss was simple. We got out-coached!!! I have always believed in TS - he was the head coach at UNH when I was there. However, those 2nd and 3rd string NE players didn't make athletic plays - they were simply in the right position to MAKE a play. That is great coaching.

I got two words guys.... Bill Cowher......

Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano announced he has "moved on" from special teams coach John Bonamego, replacing him with special teams assistant Darren Rizzi.

Special teams breakdowns came in a "tidal wave" on Monday night in a 41-14 loss to the New England Patriots, Sparano said after the game, but this had been an ongoing problem.

"This was a tough decision," Sparano said. "I thank Bono for all he's done. Players need to take responsibility too."

So what bout Henning !?

and at the end of the season Sparano

17 games as an NFL starter and you are defending a 3 int performance? Two of which were terrible throws into coverage and killed drivers. Seriously?

Henning is a douche no doubt, but he didn't throw those passes. Just like he hasn't been fumbling for RW.

If everything went right this year this team had a chance (and maybe still does) at the playoffs. Clearly they have issues with depth (hence the special teams problems) and have made too many poor decisions in the draft and with free agents.

There are definately problems in the coaching department, but come on, this is not a team loaded with talent.

Another two words ... Jon Gruden.....

Bill Bellicheat is the master of disguising coverages.
He makes a lot of QB's look silly.
Henne will be alright.
We need better coaching.

the good thing is we're only one game behind the best teams in the league. There is still time to improve. My biggest issue last night wasn't special teams. That's fixable. The bigges issue was Henne. After the first touchdown he just started sucking. If we have to switch QB's then we have much bigger issue that is not easily fixable

Agree on the "out front officed". Anyone explain to me why Grant and DOuglas were cut for Dotson and Baker? These guys are plumbers. Grant and Douglas are MEN that would have lined up to other teams OL's and made them account for themselves. I haven't seen lick one out of Dotson, Baker, or even Moses yet they are continually earning NFL paycheques. Money must be the only reason I can think of. If that's the case, that's a sad commentary in an uncapped year.

In announcing Bonamego's departure, Sparano called it a "tough decision," cautioned that "it ain't all broke," and "players also have to take responsibility."

Fact Is:
"It Is All Broke"

It Cannot Get Anymore Broke!
This was the worst ST performance in NFL History!

HC Tony Sparano needs to wake up or be gone

Any Questions ?

Shula, you really want to put any of this on Henne? He played well for the most part yesterday. he didn't give up 21 points in special teams. I don't care who your quarterback is or who is playing defense, you aren't winning.

1. what good would benching henne do? we arent going anywhere this season with or without him. let him play the season out and then make a decision on his future. he has the talent around him, so there are no excuses at the close of this seaon. we need to know where this guy can take us. pennington gets us to mediocre and he's not getting any younger so what good does that do?
2. in spite of henne, we were winning the game until our special teams had a miscarriage all over the field. the D was leaky for the 2nd straight week, and aside from the bizzare wildcat play. . the offensive playcalling didnt seem to be the problem. great call on the ricky td for example. lets face it. . there were a lot of problems in this game. . but in the end speacial teams absolutley murdered us. no doubt we suck. . but its not time to blow everything up and start over AGAIN.

Thank goodness w/the Bonamego dismissal. U had to see this from preseason w/2 punts blocked then & now punts blocked the last 2 games plus the kickoff ret for TD. Plus, why is Bobby Carpenter still on this team? His bad angle play on that KR was one of the factors in that score. This loyalty for ex Cowboys has got to stop please.

I Still cant believe a guy that's 5 ft 7(Woodhard) made the fins look down right... Oakland like..... SAD day guys, change must come, how many years you want to invest in the current regime????????Like G.W Bush said" It's time for a regime change".......Any one disagree????????????

Mark in Toronto

Ronnie Brown had 11 carries for 27 YDs
2.5 av

Running with led feet and dancing around looking for holes

Simply The Bess 9 - 93 YDs 1 TD
10.3 av

Fasano 5 - 67 YDs
13.4 av

Henne 302 YDs and 2 TDs
now if not for Ints and coaching had B-Marsh on same page

perhaps 400 YDs 4 TDs for Henne

Henne & B-Marsh simply need more work together

and best play by our running back all night was 28 YD pass play to #2 back RW for a TD

So as stated
Home 4 Gruden 2011

Thank god there is not football next year. We can have one year were we aren't the laughing stock of nfl. Start 2012 with cowher as head coach

What about all the bad decisions Ireland has made? Quick how many offensive lineman has this regime drafted and picked up in free agency? When does the revolving door stop? Same thing along the defensive line.

How do you account for signings like Wilford, Wilson, Grove, Eric Green, and Smiley (better question is why couldn't they make things work with him)? Then you have all the questionable draft picks.

B Sapp for Greg Camrillo.

Take a look at the roster.

if people are already settling on a 6-10 record might as well go worse and get our future rb or fs/ss.

Gruden is overrated. He wouldn't have won that Superbowl if he wasn't facing his former QB from less then a year ago in the Superbowl. Poor Gannon, he got shafted out of a ring after putting up an MVP performance all year.

This is what happens when you hire old buddies from the hood instead of proven coaches outside of your Connecticut circle jerk who know what they are doing like Nolan.

Home, RICKY was murdering the pats on the run last night. There should have been more balance and going with the hot hand in the running game.

Continually going to the pass is what stalled the Dolphins offense. Only someone as stubborn as you couldn't see that.

And you cant simply excuse the 3 INTs like it was an afterthought. They were critical plays. This Miami offense can't afford to be one dimensional. You need a lot more than 20 rush attempts for them to be effective. When teh Dolphins were balanced is when Henne was 7 for 7 and the Dolphins were pasting the NE defense all over the field with the pass as well. If you are going to be one dimensional, you are making it a lot easier for BB. He WILL take one option away, no matter who he has playing defense. If you are balanced, he's dead.

Surely, even you can see that.

8 carries, 56 yards. FEED THE WOLF!!


Guy's dont be delullisonal of Hennes 302 yds passing and brady's 157 yds passing, Trust me that if it wasnt for Miami giving the game to the Pats, the guy would have thrown for 300 or 400 yards if he needed to,by the time he took the field in the 3rd quarter it was 20 to 7, game was over, otherwise he would have put up 300 or 400 yards, a sad day in fin history.....

I wonder if Bonamego saw this coming?

BRA1N, agreed on that one.

Take away Ronnie lead foot Browns 11 pass attempts (for a whopping 27 YDs)

and PASS,PASS,PASS them to Simply The Bess or B-Marsh

and maybe dif results

we either win or Henne ties Marino`s Thanksgiving Day Dallas vs Miami 5 Int day

Stay the course with Henne
Henne & B-Marsh simply need more time & chemistry together

Mark I think Henne is the best QB on the roster. Nonetheless, I definately put some of this on Henne. He killed two drives with terrible throws. Yes the ST performance was obviously a far bigger concern - but you can't honestly expect to beat teams like the Patriots turning the ball over.

Anyway, I hope Henne can improve. His performance last night will not be good enough on most Sundays though. How many times does a team win when their QB throws 3 ints?

Like somebody above said, Boneamego should have been gone long ago. Much like Pass the Baloney...too little too late. Henning should be gone a long with him but it won't happen.

But let's look at the whole picture. True Boneamego sucked but 'churing the roster' and cutting ST players for money reasons didn't exactlly help either. Whose fault was that?

What we need is a 'consultant'. Oh wait, we have one already....my ass!!!

So the assistant gets promoted and that's the fix?

I am curious how much coaching it takes to not allow the guy in front of you blow by you and block a punt or a field goal?

How about make a tackle on kickoffs?

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