The Miami Dolphins interviewed two more candidates to fill the team’s head coaching vacancy today, both of whom are quite familiar.
As was reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo earlier this week, the Dolphins brought in special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Darren Rizzi for an interview today. Garafolo’s colleague, Ian Rapoport, then reported that the Dolphins will also be interviewing offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains for the same position.
The Dolphins had had no need to rush an interview with Rizzi or Loggains given that all four other candidates they’ve interviewed thus far are still in the playoffs. That list includes New England Patriots defensive play caller and linebackers coach Brian Flores, Dallas Cowboys passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Kris Richard, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Rizzi has long been one of the most respected members of the Dolphins organization. When it was reported that he would be considered as a candidate for the team’s vacant head coaching position, several current and former Dolphins players spoke up in support of the 48-year old coach, including running back Kenyan Drake, safety Michael Thomas, and Hall of Fame linebacker Jason Taylor.
Rizzi has been a member of the Dolphins organization since 2010 when he was hired as the team’s special teams coordinator. He’s survived the tenure of several unsuccessful Dolphins head coaches including Tony Sparano, Joe Philbin, and Adam Gase due in part to his success with the special teams unit.
During his tenure, Rizzi has routinely fielded units that rank near the top of the NFL in kickoff and punt coverage and has also developed several successful kickers. Last season’s rookie Jason Sanders is the most recent example. In fact, both kickers that Rizzi brought in this offseason to replace Cody Parkey were successful with NFL teams this season, with the second being Greg Joseph, who picked up a job with the Cleveland Browns in Week 3.
Prior to coaching for the Dolphins, Rizzi played football as a tight end for Rhode Island Rams. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Colgate before eventually moving on to become defensive coordinator for the University of New Haven. He then took a job as special teams coach at Northeastern. Rizzi held head coaching jobs at the University of New Haven and the University of Rhode Island before moving to the NFL.
Loggains’ interview seems to be more of a formality, with one prominent reporter going as far as to say that Loggains “isn’t getting the job,” and that the interview is a “courtesy.” The former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator is expected to follow Adam Gase to New York to become a member of the Jets offensive coaching staff.
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