The Miami Dolphins are expected to start hiring their next coaching staff on Monday, the day after presumed head coach Brian Flores calls the defensive plays in the Super Bowl for the New England Patriots. Earlier this week, it was reported Dolphins special teams coordinator and associate head coach Darren Rizzi would not remain with the team and join Flores’ staff.
Rizzi joined the Dolphins in 2010 as the special teams coordinator, working as a part of Tony Sparano’s coaching staff. He then remained with the team during the Joe Philbin era, then again remained during the Adam Gase tenure, picking up the associate head coach title along the way. The Dolphins interviewed him for their head coach position this offseason, after firing Gase, but opted for Flores over Rizzi. Miami (and, likely, Flores) decided they did not want to keep Rizzi on the staff, while Rizzi also decided that, since he was not going to be the next head coach, it was time for him to move on from South Florida as well.
Reports have indicated that he was in advanced talks with a team to become their special teams coordinator, but there had not been a specific team linked to those talks. Today, it appears that team may be the New Orleans Saints.
Per source, Darren Rizzi has agreed to join Saints. Was Dolphins special teams coach before mutual breakup— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) February 1, 2019
Time with a successful playoff-caliber team will help excellent coach who has aspirations of being a head coach. He succeeds, interstingly enough, former Dolphins special teams coach Mike Westhoff who came out of retirement to help Saints. https://t.co/VdZ0etDz1F— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) February 1, 2019
I’m told by someone appraised of the #Saints moves, New Orleans is moving on from its special teams staff. Pay attention to longtime #Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi here; it’s looking likely this is where he lands after flirting w/ multiple openings.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) February 1, 2019
Interestingly, the Saints also hired the last Dolphins assistant coach to interview for the head coaching position, not get the job, and move on. In 2016, when the Dolphins hired Gase, the team had looked at 2015 interim head coach Dan Campbell, who was 5-7 in 12 games as the head coach after Philbin was fired early in the season, but did not hire him. Campbell left the Dolphins in January 2016, with the Saints hiring him as their tight ends coach and assistant head coach.
The Dolphins are expected to hire former Buffalo Bills special teams coordinator Danny Crossman to the same position in Miami.