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Rizzi Returns, Preaches Consistency
By on February 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

After an impressive year by his unit, Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi was retained by incoming coach Joe Philbin.

He recently talked to The Finsiders about being brought back and what he expects from the new staff.

“It feels very rewarding,” Rizzi said. “In this profession you understand it’s a high-performance business. At the end of the day, when you look at your work and it’s recognized, that’s very rewarding.”

Rizzi and Philbin had briefly met in the past, but this is the first time they’re working together. Rizzi has already noticed how organized and structured his new boss is.

“His messages to the team are going to be very consistent, and I kind of like that,” he said.

If there is one area that Rizzi would like to see some improvement this season, it would be the return game.

“I think the kick return game is probably the thing you saw the most peaks and valleys. We were kind of feast or famine,” he said. “It’s that almost. I think we were a block away, a step away, and I think we want to get more consistent.”

According to FootballOutsiders.com, the Dolphins’ special teams ranking improved from 29th to 6th in 2011. That type of production convinced Philbin to rehire Rizzi, who is one of nine coaches returning to the Dolphins in 2012.

Part of maintaining stability is the play of long snapper John Denney—the most tenured member of the special teams unit—who’s a bit of an unsung hero.

“John is really the ultimate professional,” he said. “His attitude, his work ethic, I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the league, quite frankly.”

When the players arrive for the 2012 season, Rizzi said that they may notice a few changes.

“The day-to-day operations will be a little bit different, philosophies may be a shade different,” Rizzi said. “But, at the end of the day, as I said before, it all comes back to those fundamentals, and techniques and your performance.”


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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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This team made some great strides this off-season. I like the coach, I love Tannehill. I’ll be going to a whole lot of Fins games this year! GO FINS!