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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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Tim Ryan,you are right. Even a blindfolded pat could have blocked those kicks or got those picks. Thats why it looked so bad. We made the worse defense in the nfl look like the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.


personally I think he should have gone outside the organization instead of promoting an assistant the the coach we just fired JMO....but reading he came from new have, I guess Tony is keeping it in the family...not really digging it, but I will see how (or if) they improve from here.

Cuban, don't know if I agree with you there. Nolan had an excellent gameplan of keeping everything underneath and limiting the big play and Wake was doing very well rushing the passer.

BKNYFINFAN4LIFE... Great question? Why is Bobby Carpenter on this team... One reason, he used to be a Cowboy when the trio was there! So what? He is awful... Can't cover, can't tackle, can't play special teams (out of lane on TD return and blocked out and let Chung through on the stunt). Walden got bounced for that and he is a far better special teams player than Carpenter. He has been in games defensively and is brutal... Send him packing too...

Ricky played real well esp on the 28 YD PASS TD
but 50 YDs rushing by Ricky is not going to beat the PATRIOTS ROTFALMAO

and u know Rickys fourth game changing fumble of the 2010 season would soon come if they stuck with him


... and yes Mark I completely agree that play calling is part of the problem. Miami ran the ball ten times (TEN FREAKIN TIMES) in the first half for 50 yards. Should have been 15 - 20. Sigh ......

That was the worst display of special teams I have seen in years. My goodness. Two blocked punts in back-to-back games? Two blocked punts allowed in a single season is bad. Back-to-back games means the entire special teams staff should be fired. People didn't get their assignments? Fire them too. allowing a blocked field goal? and a kickoff returned for a TD? In the same game? My goodness. Special teams is mainly at fault for both of Miami's loses. Terrible. Blocking is horrible. Coverage is horrible. And our return team is below average. Bad.

And where has our running game been? Its easy to pick off a young quaterback when your star running back is averaging 2.5ypc. Not sure what the problem is but this is a run first team whose strength lies in the play action. We do not have the tools in place to be an aggressive pass attack team like the Colts. This needs to be fixed.

Henne had a bad game. He made some poor decisions. But to bench him is utter foolishness. Let him play out the year. He grows up and shows us he is the future of this team. Or he crashes and we draft a 1st rd quarterback next year. I've liked a lot of what Ive seen from him. He misses open receivers though. He also stares them down too much. He needs to start showing marked improvement. A running game would help...

And to the fans. Man...Fin fans are sounding too much like Phily fans. Are we going to start booing our own team next? Will networks showcase us to be classless? We should be huddling behind the team and supporting them. Not throwing bricks continually. It's almost depressing at times reading this blog during games. So much negativity its ridiculous. I understand you love your team. Be patient. Speak criticism where criticism is due. But lighten up a bit on the negativity.



D, hahaha, so true.

Shula, it's not like he throws a lot of pics overall. He's normally good at that. Every QB will have one or 2 games a year where he craps the bed.

I saw a few times where carpenter LB, and jason allen alligator arm tackled..or should i say the whiffed terribly. how can you play at this level and not stick your helmet in theor chest and blow them up with a solid tackle? we need MEN and GAMERS to be playing out there...we need heart!

Beer, If you did'nt see this coming your as blind as the head coach, I remember seeing quite a few posts the last week saying that the special teams would lose this game.... just saying...

this is why you dont hire friends and family if you have your own bussiness!
are the phins in practice looking at film today? they need to be, no days off this week!
4 words- just get it done!

Exactly Cuban...weve been calling for this!

Clam chowder please forgive me for the years of bashing. I didnt know how good you were until i saw pee wee man have a career day.
Please come back asap
Dont care about the big plays just jump on the pile like you


For a couple weeks I've been saying Johnson should start at LB. This is getting nuts.

ST has to do with coaching and the GM constantly turning over the roster. They let go of some very solid special team players.

Henne locks onto a receiver way too much. It looked like often receivers were wide open, but he made up his mind to throw somewhere else.

On one INT is looked like Marshall was wide open down the middle of the field which was wide open all night long.

At least Thighpen tries to push the ball down field instead of dinging.

Nolan's defense does not get off either. We score and they give up a score right back. Where is all the attacking we heard so much about?

This is a very bad team with very questionable coaching.

Mark in Canada
We gave Ronnie Brown the ball 11 times
He ONLY GOT 27 F!@#ing YDs

He is playing like shiet and no holes to run through

So we should have given it to him more???
R U Nuts??

Ricky fumbling again in a crucial situation like all last year and this year was imminent
Yeah U bet Home was cheering for Ricky but
U know his recent history

Thank God for the Pass
Cuz we got no rushing TDs

U Get That, Eh ?

News Flash...Aloco was the first to announce the fireing of the ST coach boneheadamengo! Great reporting gumshoe! just messin with ya Aloco

DLT, they do need to find out more about Henne. Bottom line is that if he is still making those throws he made last night in December then they need to seriously consider Henne is not the guy. If that is the case they don't have anyone on the roster capable either.

I am a full Henne supporter but yet he really looked lost last night. I really didnt understand why Tyler Thigpen played ahead of Pennington in the fourth quarter. Did he pass pennington on the depth chart? I have to admit I like his ability to make plays especially when he scrambles. Henne on the other hand doesnt have that sense of someone coming to sack him yet. I am a little worried but still support him. I have a good feeling that this will be Ronnie's last year especially with the way he has been playing. And I have beem extremely disappointed in Hartline. Once draft time hits the FO has some decisions to make. The following needs in order: DL/DT,RB, MLB, CB, TE,


Loooooooooooooooooooooooong overdue!

I saw the same thing with Olivadotti and Shula.

Can't fall in love with these failing assistants!

Good move getting rid of the ST coach. That performance last night was abysmal!! I'm not a McQuistan fan either. I'm not sure why they got this clown (I know he was a backup in Dallas) but I don't see that this guy brings anything to the team. He's slow and he takes stupid penalties. Can't wait for Jerry to return. I don't know what the answer is in terms of getting better ST players but getting rid of the coach was a necessary move.

Mark, the defense played well,if you call a 41 to 14 beat down playing well.... but then again 28of those points were special teams/offense related....it all just sucks in my opinion....I'am disgusted....

Fire Tony and I'll be happy! Get rid of Henne....that boy is just plain dumb....hand him a banjo and let him sit on his front porch...

As much as I hate the Jets they look like they're going to super bowl and my beloved phins are going to the toilet bowl.

Mark, wrong about Henne not throwing a lot of ints.

In 2009 he was top 10 in the league throwing 14. He threw only 12 td passes.

In 17 games as an NFL starter he has thrown 17 thd passes and 18 interceptions. That has to improve. Too many picks especially when measured against his tds. Not good enough.

thigpen played because it was garbage time..they arent going to risk injury to pennington in an obvious loss scenario

Guys, What are the next 4 games????? let me guess, @ Green Bay,Tenn,@Baltimore, who else??????


BK you forgot the most imporatant draft pick. A new QB. I was a henne fan but the way he unravled this game after the second series I have no faith. he's garbage and backup material. Its fiedler 2.0. We need to draft a QB with our sure to be top 10 pick

I like Tracy's idea. Let us hire one of the best special teams players EVER, Larry Izzo, as s/t coach. What is he doing right now? Can he coach?

The Wildcat can only be resuscitated if we have a passing threat in it. If it is all run, other teams have figured out ways to stop it. To employ it on a 3rd down and 6 is just plain stupid imho.
Good move getting rid of Bonamego, but to put his assistant in charge? Does management have a clue?

Aloco,Quit sniffing glue......

Cuban, special teams contributed 21 points. 6 points, came after henne picks. 7 was directly on an iontercept return. the defense only really allowed 7 points all night. how can you really blame them????


Firing Bona mustgo

& replacing him with our current assistant ST coach

is only applying perfume on this pig

Plus Rizzi is simply another Sparano friend from
his Home town of New Haven, Connecticut

Giving a bunch of your friends high paying jobs is a nice thing to do

Replacing one friend and promoting another friend is a nice thing to do

but ...


Henne will be fine. We survived his first pick and had the lead at the half. The second one sucked, but didn't seal the coffin. The third was the pick-six, and it hurt bad, but that one's on Marshall. Without the punt block leading to the easy TD, the FG block for 7, the pick-six and the kickoff return for 7, we win 14-13 without Henne throwing another pass.

If Sparano hadn't made this decision, the whole organization would look completely anemic. Had to be done.
It's hard to find a quality coach mid-season. Promoting Rizzi makes the most sense. He can't be worse, can he?
Henning should step aside after this season, and David Lee should get a shot.

Larry Izzo is a carpenter in Idaho if i am not mistaken..., Then again how much worse could he do then the last guy??????????

Dan Marino, 242 G, 252 INT. Yes, even the best throw pics.

Mark, I'am not thought they played a good game..

"Barney Rebel" Larry Izzo was nother real good playa let go by the Dolphins

Larry Izzo was not "Barney Ruble", Zach Thomas was Barney Ruble.... Get it right H4G2011......

Cuban, the Dolphins were playing with only 3 NFL quality D linemen. That's why they couldn't stop the run. Blame Ireland and Sparano for releasing Grant and Douglas for that one. They knew McDaniel would be facing a suspension at some point and would need a vet to come in. DUMB-UH!!!

If Dolphins dont improve on Sp Teams then it will cost Tony his job as well at end of a 6-10 season, better get it turned around and fire those special teamers who stunk last nite and didnt care to block anyone, get off practice squad someone who can!

Dan Marino 400 + tds though ... ahem.

How many rushing TDs does that Mark in Toronto
Fierce running game have after 4 games?

Is the answer 1


Miami, you need me.

Home, in case you don't notice, I'm ignoring you on this topic. You are the only MORON who beleives the Dolphins should have a NO or Indy style pass offense where they throw it all willy nilly all over the field. YOu are the only IDIOT who doesn't see that making yourself one dimensional allows the opponents to match up better against you. And you are the only DOUCHEBAG that didn't see that the Dolphins pass game was the most effective when Ricky was running hard and keeping the Pats off balance. Incidentally that is also when Henne had his best numbers. Now, excuse me if you will and go play circle jerk, AZZWIPE!!

Bill Parcells is reported to be slouching in a bean bag chair, naked, drinking beer & eating cheetohs while throwing stacks of his 12 million dollars up in the air


Mark, Lets just say that it was the worse game I've seen the Mammals lose in all my 45 years in life, it was Horrific,, been a fin fan since i was in diapers while my daddy was holding me, this was one of the worse lose's I've seen, ranks up there with the melt down in NY on monday nite, The 35 to 0 beat down that buffalo gave miami in 94, the 62 to 7 beat down that the jags gave them in 97, this game ranks right up there bro....

"Home, in case you don't notice, I'm ignoring you on this topic. You are the only MORON who beleives the Dolphins should have a NO or Indy style pass offense where they throw it all willy nilly all over the field. YOu are the only IDIOT who doesn't see that making yourself one dimensional allows the opponents to match up better against you. And you are the only DOUCHEBAG that didn't see that the Dolphins pass game was the most effective when Ricky was running hard and keeping the Pats off balance. Incidentally that is also when Henne had his best numbers. Now, excuse me if you will and go play circle jerk, AZZWIPE!!"

Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2010/10/dolphins-fire-john-bonamego-hire-rizzi/comments/page/2/#comments#ixzz11VMt5nPY

Stay classy Mark. Don't you have an Argos game to watch or something?

Dan Marino averaged 253 yds per game to go with his 1 plus int per game.

Proves my point that even teh gods of quarterbacking are not perfect. Henne will be fine.

Everybody knows that Teams are not prepared equally game to game(It's a very long Season). Could that have been the case? I certainly hope so.

11 rushes for 27 YDs Ronnie lead foot dancing bear Brown


HOF for Mark in Canadas football leagues coaching abilities on how to run over the Patriots LMAO!

What a DISGRACE!! Your team looked like a bad high school team on national TV. As a Jet fan I thought your team would at least compete with NE, maybe even knock them off, but after witnessing THAT performance I see you have a long way to go!

and Mark
u had me at "moron"

and u complete me LOL

Cuban, I agree with you there. I was embarassed and it was certainly one of the low points. I can take losing when teh other team is just better or gets the breaks, but I don't reallly know if this was one of those games. Miami dictated until the special teams threw up all over the field.


Oscar, Seems the fins lately hae not been prepared latley.......

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