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Rizzi's case for special teams job

Like most assistant coaches on NFL staffs undergoing change, Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi is trying to stay employed. Unlike many of his counterparts, he can present a solid, tangible case for keeping his job based on his unit's 2011 performance.

According to the annual study of the NFL's 32 special teams, done by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, the Dolphins staged the biggest one-season improvement on special teams from 2010 to 2011, vaulting from 24 a year ago all the way to second under Rizzi.

The Dolphins finished just behind the San Francisco 49'ers in the study that judges 22 elements of the kicking game -- with each element receiving votes from 1 to 32, with the lowest scoring unit accounting for the best score.

The Dolphins finished in the Top 10 in 14 categories and, like the 49ers, their kickers were a strength. Dan Carpenter was 13-of-16 in field goals from 40 yards and beyond and punter Brandon Fields had a net punting average of 41.1 yards.

Four division champions finished in the top 10 in special teams and one of them is headed for the Super Bowl. The AFC champion New England Patriots finished fifth this season in special teams, the New Orleans Saints eighth and the Denver Broncos 10. The NFC champion New York Giants finished 22nd in the kicking game.

Congratulations to Rizzi, Carpenter, Fields and the rest of the Miami special teams unit.


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Well if we let Jake Long walk, get used to se3eing Miami Dolphin LT's lying flat on thier backs. It will be an occurence happening for more than "just one game" or rare incindence. LOL

Jake Long is a Pro Bowler who still is better hurt then 95% of other players healthy. Long will be going nowhere anytime soon.

bobbyd12 | January 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM

This is the thinking that still has Ray Lewis in the Pro Bowl over more deserving players today! If you watch Jake Long closely you'll understand that his game is OVER STATED!! He is hyped people he is NOT one of the better LT's I've seen given there are holes in his game. Everybody is quick to jump on that bandwagon as was I but truth is in the eye!!

Andy, teams are in 3the wide so often these days. The value of the run stuffer in a 4 3 is not ten million a year, for sure. I'm sure starks can do that job and odrick may be a weapon collapsing the pocket from the inside. Wake from another side, then a Guy like Mario or a top ten pick from the other, that works.


Even the best(Jake Long) are beaten at times. They are what they are(the best) because these things dont consistently happen to them.

If the best can at times be beaten. Then what happens to the mediocre? Even the best aren't perfect, my man! LOL


Now that the 4/3 is back in Miami don't be surprised if a guy like Wake who could land something in trade isn't on the block.

Nah, Man, nobody can be the same.


2012, will probably be the healthiest that Jake Long has started a season in two years. It's far too early to fret about him yet. Just saying....


You know that while you WAR with some you and me NEVER go the route given we see things alot alike. I really ask you IF you haven't seen the holes in Long's game?? No doubt he is a warrior and true gladiator but he isn't J.Ogden either or am I crazy!!

Armando wrote:

Congratulations to Rizzi, Carpenter, Fields and the rest of the Miami special teams unit.

I want to know when you will congratulate Philbin on getting the job.....

Thats all i'm asking.....

F4l, I don't see wake going anywhere, I see him as the starting de.


Feeley's career numbers before he came to Miami was 14 Td 14 Ints and 55% completion rate. He did have some really good games mixed in there. But again "IF" Philbin endorses Flynn then he is worth the risk. Philbin knows what Flynn is capable of and if he isn't pursued with a mid to low end starting salary then he obviously isn't worth it in Philbin's eyes either.

The BIG difference with Feely and Kolb, Scott Mitchell etc is they went to teams that knew nothing about them. In this case Philbin knows everything about Flynn.

Yesterday, I haven't seen Tony McDaniel get pushed around very often...Anyway, let's agree to disagree. I'd rather spend some $$ on pass rushers, wide receivers and tight ends but that's just me. On another note, I've been watching a few videos and let me tell you, I'm on the Joe Philbin bandwagon. I know, I know, some of you will laugh and call me names but I don't care. I have a feeling Philbin will be very successfull in Miami. Can't wait for free agency to start! I already have a lot of respect for Joe Philbin. Didn't know him that much before but so far, I like what I see...

Why would we trade Wake?? He's the ONLY good pass rusher we have. Trade him? For a draft pick that might turn out to be a bust? That makes no sense...


If Philbin gives the "glowing endorsement" leading to signing signing Matt Flynn. Im sure he knows his job longevity will be congruent to Flynn playing extremely well.

Flynn cant be just "good" in Miami. He has to be great. Dolfans expect nothing less, especially when Philbin's had 3yrs at GB to "eyeball" test him.

We dont want good, we want great. Matt Moore is "good". He cant be Matt Moore.

Andy, like I was saying earlier, Philbin knows QBs and he knows Matt Flynn. He knows him more than anyone. If the Dolphins don't go hard after him, that will tell me everything I need to know about Flynn. I trust Philbin's judgement.

F4l, I don't see wake going anywhere, I see him as the starting de.

Mark in Toronto | January 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM

Then you endorse the days of DE's in around 270 to 280 like the days when under J.J. we had Trace Armstrong, J.T., Kenny Mixon and Lorenzo Bromell who all faded in the post season.

Listen if we play a 4/3 scheme we need DE's in the 290 pound range with quick 240 pound OLB's who can cover. When the scheme worked in Miami last way back in 82 under Arnsbarger won of the BRAINS behind the scheme we shifted Bokamper outside and traded for Brunzinski because of there ability to set the edge and cover leaving DE to the likes of 285 pound players like Betters which translates in today's game to 300 Pound ends. Please get versed on what the scheme requires before posting!!

Kris....... hilarious @ 3:15 :)

Stepping in for an injured QB who got all the reps, never had a fair shot at the starting QB job, no minicamps, no training camps, playing behind a chitty o-line with only 2 decent weapons, having a 6-3 record and a QB rating of 87% is pretty fuc**** good...


Im not talking about having your dline get dominated every play. Im talking 3rd and 2yds or less run situations. Situations where 1/2 yd is needed for a td or 1st down.

In these situations you need guys who are extremely difficult to move upfront. So why let the most difficult guy we have to move upfront walk.

Soliai's the only guy on our entire roster that consistently commands a double team. But Im sure our opponents will absolutely love seeing us allow Soliai walk. The team getting him will too. LOL


Flynn cant be just "good" in Miami. He has to be great. Dolfans expect nothing less, especially when Philbin's had 3yrs at GB to "eyeball" test him.

We dont want good, we want great. Matt Moore is "good". He cant be Matt Moore.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | January 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM

Nice YG, you get a "Big Word" Score too, for using Congruent properly-LOL!

Sure Odin, You dont have to be embarressed about your past crimes, Iam sure you've paid your Debt to Sociaty.


Exactly. We have no choice but to trust the coaches judgment. If he fails he will be out the door but there is no sense in second guessing him right now.


Matt Moore is a good qb. Still we found having a good qb isnt good enough in today's nfl. We gotta upgrade from Matt Moore going forward.

If we find that qb is Flynn, he beter be because Philbin's longevity here will be directly linked to it, then great. If Moore improves so much during the offseason he beat Flynn out for the starting job, great too.

Exactly why there better be some kind of opt-out in Flynn's contract to relieve us under the salary cap should this occur.

f4l, there are plenty of defensive ends in the 260 lbs range that are plenty effective.

No offense, but you just sounded like Bill Parcells and his bigger is better mantra.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. And I believe Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney played in two Super Bowls and are much lighter than Wake.

DB/YG/FB When last time you were with a women?

Yesterday, that's your opinion. Matt Moore did a heck of a job. You want better? No problem, so do I. But someone will have to come in and compete to get the job. He finished 12th in the NFL in QB rating. He had 2 decent weapons, Marshall and Bush. That's it. He had a crappy o-line. Not so sure Flynn or anybody else would of done better. I'm all for upgrading, but don't count him out just yet. He might surprise a lot of you guys next year...That's all I'm saying...

At present Matt Moore = Scott Mitchell. We have no idea if Moore rises to the next level this season. Still we better prepare with someone who we think can.

I have no problem with Moore beating out Flynn for the starting qb position. But it better be because Moore hasnt risen to the next level, and not because Flynn wasnt as good as Moore at Moore's 2011 level of play.

That would be disastrous and Philbin could be out the door within 2 seasons.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. And I believe Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney played in two Super Bowls and are much lighter than Wake.

Mark in Toronto | January 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM

No doubt but both Freeney and Mathis are liabilities against the run. Like you say there is more than one way to skin a cat and the Colts do it with a pass rush spearheaded by those 2 aimed at getting a turnover in order to let there potent O win the game, it's O by D in there school.

We want a true 4/3 scheme to bail out our still learning by BABY steps O and in order to achieve the scheme we need big DE's and lighter 235 pound OLB's who can cover. I believe we have a plethora of DE's who can play the scheme (thinking T.McDaniel and Starks inside) but at LB we have to get the players to fit the scheme, nothing more nothing less.


I think it would be great if Moore silenced all of the naysayers, by rising to the next level and taking the starting qb position next year. We want a "GREAT" qb in Miami and Im sure none of us cares what his name is, as long as he's "GREAT".

Still we need to take out insurance on that by either signing Flynn or trading up for RGIII(qb'ing future). We cant just "hold" with only Matt Moore in our hand. We've been making these kind of chitty decisions since Marino left and that why we are where we are now.


I never know IF I'm talking to the real Aloco or not anymore.

Moore hasn't risen to the next level? Yesterday, what games were you watching last year?? Matt Moore elevated his play, every football analyst was saying so...Was he perfect? No. Can he work on improving some things? Absolutely. But to say he hasn't risen to the next level? Yeah, right. And to compare him with Scott Mitchell is ridiculous. Not even close. I'm not even going to comment on that...If Moore wouldn't of stepped in and Henne would of stayed healthy, you would be drafting Andrew Luck in a few months. Please...The Dolphins started winning some games when Matt Moore replaced that stiff Henne. If he would of played the entire season, Miami might of been in the playoffs...

So I'm convinced the guys over at ProFootballtalk.com are either jerk off losers or are Jets and Patriots Fans (Which would make them the first statement anyway)

Once I stated I was a Dolphins Fan they ended up deleting 3 different posts of mine.

Yesterday, 03:52PM, agreed 100%...Couldn't of said it better myself...


There are very few run first oriented teams left in the nfl. Even fewer teams that do it very well.

So as a dc, you may want to gear your defense towards being pass first personnel. It's more likely you'll meet that kind of a team in the playoffs, plus allow you to win more regular season games.

Our defense is run first built right now and you see where that's gotten us. #6 against the run and still 6-10 overall. In all our losses we were slayed by the pass.

Tom Coughlin is supposed to be hung like a racehorse.

For this reason, I believe he will lead the Giants to championship glory.


NFL Network reports that the Dolphins have agreed to terms with Mike Sherman to become their offensive coordinator and Kevin Coyle to become their defensive coordinator.

Now how come this news isn't reported by Armando and his in the know people is beyond me.

Don Banks of CNNSI.com, has a mock draft out (For what's it worth, free agency hasn't even started and people already have mock drafts, LOL!)...He's got Luck-Griffin going 1 and 2, Cleveland trades up with the Rams and gets Griffin), he's got (get this) Tannehill going to Washington, Coples to the Jags and we would select (no surprise here) Reiff, the T from Iowa...



fin4live is correct. Long is way overrated. on most plays he gets pancaked


Moore hasnt risen to the level of the "ELITES" yet. What games were you watching? Moore proved "GOOD" isnt good enough.

Moore started 12 games, with only 16 td passes, that's not "good enough". That's 1.3 td passes per game. Even over 16 games thats only 21 tds in a season.

A bad season for an "ELITE" qb cant be lower than 25 td's. Though I would personally place the "cut off line at 28 passing td's.

Guess you're saying Moore has risen to the next level based on his horrible Carolina performances. We should be over basing qb's rising to the next level using terrible as the starting point in Miami.

If this what we're doing, we may as well franchise Chad Henne. LOL

Mr. Aloco, you are very mistaken about the Super Bowl.

Tom Coughlin has an enormous penis that inspires his team to greatness. The Giants (could there be a more appropriate name for a Coughlin-coached team?) will crush the Patriots. Bill Belichick's penis is not nearly as large.

Armando wrote;

"Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland declined to share information on the Dolphins salary cap situation when he met with the media Tuesday. Doesn't matter because lack of specifics aside, it is clear the Dolphins cannot be full-blown buyers in free agency when it begins in March.

The Dolphins will not be able to address all of their issues in free agency. Thank God for the draft.

But the Dolphins might be able to address one major issue in free angency. One.

So which one should it be?"

Someone help me out here. The Dolphins are 15 million dollars under the cap right now. Some of that will go to signing draft picks and our own free agents.

But that doesn't count players who may leave or be cut. If they let Solai and Bell go we will have a ton of space correct? Odrick could move inside in a 4-3 as well as Starks. Reshad Jones or Jimmy Wilson could move to SS. At that point we would have close to 20 million dollars to spend.

So am I wrong or is that plenty of money to sign a few good free agents with? Armando says we will only be able to sign one. With close to 20 million dollars we should be able to do more than that right? Why is Armando saying they can't?

Our defense is run first built right now and you see where that's gotten us. #6 against the run and still 6-10 overall. In all our losses we were slayed by the pass.

Yesterday's Gone | January 27, 2012 at 03:57 PM

There is a point of view I won't argue.

Yesterday, YES he didn't throw as many TD's as I would of liked. That's why I said in my earlier post that YES, some things he needs to work on to improve. Red zone is certainly one of them. But he was still moving the offense pretty darn well, and maybe, just maybe, he would of thrown more TD's if he would of had a few more weapons. He also was running for his life on a lot of plays, so that didn't help either. We need help on our o-line and we need more weapons. DESPITE all that, he still managed to move the offense downfield pretty darn well. THAT'S A FACT. I don't know if he's our QB of the future but he certainly showed me enough to at the very least give him a fair shot. That's all I'm saying. He showed me a lot more than all the rest of the stiffs we've had here since #13...


Cam Newton had 21 tds passing his rookie season. About the same as Matt Moore would have averaged had he started a full 16 game season.

Coincidently, both Miami and Carolina finished 6-10 record with the same 21 td passing average. However, adding Henne's 4 passing td's we had a total of 20 passing tds.

Yup, 20-21tds passing gets you a 6-10 win loss record. Ask Carolina, buit they have a legit excuse, Newton was in his rookie season. LOL

"He is hyped people he is NOT one of the better LT's I've seen given there are holes in his game. Everybody is quick to jump on that bandwagon as was I but truth is in the eye!!"

Not one of the better left tackles YOU'VE SEEN? With all due respect who in the hell are you?

Long is rated as one of the top 3 tackles in the game by his peers, coaches, insiders, experts but you,,,a blog guy who simply watches football knows more than all of these people?

Do you realize how psychotic that sounds?

WAKE???????????!!!!!!!!! On the block? Dude WTF are you smoking today. Man I wish I knew you because I would win a TON of money on bets.

Okay so far according to you Jake Long is not an elite LT and Cameron Wake will probably be on the trade block.

As you can deduce I could not disagree more with your opinions.

Anyway, we'll see what happens Yesterday. Gotta pick up the kids. Have a great weekend everybody...


I agree. Marshall isnt the most reliable red zone threat out there. Sad thing is that he's the closest thing to a red zone threat we have on the roster.

Also why my heart tells me draft Blackmon. Dammit we have so many needs it hard to say who should be our 1st rd pick. TE, OLB, RT, WR? We need them all. A case can even be made for taking corner and fs 1st rd.

fin4life you should understand what you are posting as well. Cam Wake spent his career as a 4-3 defensive end and made tackles look silly.

But he won't be playing defensive end for the Dolphins. He will be staying at strong side linebacker because he's one of the best in the game.

He will be staying with the Dolphins because he is the ONLY pass rush threat we have! This conversation borders on retardation.


Gulp..... Your posts makes sense, and your harshness in delivery makes me proud! LOL

Fin4life, Here's something else you're not understanding in the Wake thing. You said 280lb defensive ends OF THE PAST used to wear down in the 4-3 toward the end of the season. You're right but you're missing the big picture.

Offensive linemen were heavier as well back then. They are now more athletic and mobile.

The game back then was ground and pound. You needed big d linemen to stop the run and take on the even bigger o-linemen.

With o-linemen being quicker and mobile you need quicker more athletic ends to handle the change.

What you're suggesting is the PARCELLS BLUEPRINT. Everyone big and slow. That's why Parcells failed and that's why I disagree with you.

"how come" the news wasn't reported by Armando?

I don't know, tell us what "how come" means first. Do you mean why?

YG, I don't mean to come off sounding harsh all though reading back I see that I was (a little!). I like fin4life, good poster.

But I hate when anyone in here acts as if they know more than people who actually do this for a living. And if someone is going to post an opinion and state it as if it's a fact and the rest of us are idiots for not knowing it,,,,,whoo boy, that really gets me going. HUGE pet peeve for me.


Absolutely! LOL

YG - The Panthers are 6-10 because they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and few weapons. You didn't count his rushing TDs either. Carolina has plenty of offense to make things happen....their defense is horrible!

I don't know about the rest if you but I'm going to start cheering for first downs!!

Posted by: amsmith965 | January 26, 2012 at 08:55 PM


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