Karl Dorrell

Dolphins To Hire 4 Assistants, Part Ways With Darren Rizzi

One of the other candidates for the position Brian Flores will soon take, Darren Rizzi‘s near-decade-long stay with the Dolphins will come to an end.

The Dolphins will not retain their longtime special teams coordinator, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami will instead hire former Buffalo ST coordinator Danny Crossman to take over in that role, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Additionally, former Texans OC (and 2018 Lions quarterbacks coach) George Godsey will be the Dolphins’ new tight ends coach, and former Fins wideouts coach Karl Dorrell will be back for a second stay in this job, Yates adds. Pat Flaherty will join the staff as offensive line coach, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter).

Flores wanted to move in another direction for his new team’s ST coach, per Jackson, who adds Rizzi also did not want to come back after being bypassed for the HC post. Rizzi, who has received significant interest on the market this offseason, may have a new gig soon. He is in advanced stages of negotiations with another team, Jackson notes.

While Flores’ arrival will mean most of Miami’s assistants will be new hires, running backs coach Eric Studesville will be back, per Marvez (on Twitter). So will defensive backs coach Tony Oden, Jackson adds.

In the event of a Rizzi exit, the Dolphins placed Crossman on their radar weeks ago, Marvez tweets. The Bills fired him after a six-year tenure as their ST coordinator. The Dolphins have been Rizzi’s only NFL employer, hiring him in 2010 and promoting him to ST boss a year later. Miami led the NFL with 11 punts blocked in that span.

Matt Patricia‘s continued overhaul of the Lions’ staff meant more Jim Caldwell-era holdovers were out. Godsey stayed on during Patricia’s first season, moving to quarterbacks coach in 2018. Flaherty had worked with Tom Coughlin in 14 of the past 15 years, mentoring the Giants’ O-line for 12 seasons and spending the past two slates working with the Jaguars’ blockers.

Dorrell was Miami’s receivers coach from 2008-10. Conversely to how things have been moving this offseason, with Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains going from the Dolphins to the Jets, Dorrell will head from the Big Apple to south Florida. He coached New York’s wideouts during each of Todd Bowles‘ four seasons. The Packers interviewed Dorrell for their WRs job, which remains vacant.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Assistant Coaching Rumors: Broncos, Browns, Packers, Rams, Buccaneers

Now that the head coaching carousel is pretty much wrapped up, everyone’s attention will now be turning to the assistant coaching ranks. One team that has a lot to sort out is the Broncos, now that we know Gary Kubiak won’t be joining as the team’s offensive coordinator. Broncos defensive backs coach Greg Williams won’t be returning next year, according to Mike Klis of Denver 9News (Twitter link). In a separate tweet, Klis writes that league sources told him Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell will be a “top target” of new Broncos coach Vic Fangio to join his defensive staff. In a third tweet, Klis notes that the Browns are targeting Chris Strausser, who currently coaches the Broncos’ offensive tackles, to join Freddie Kitchens’ staff in Cleveland.

Here’s the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • Matt LaFleur is the Packers’ new coach, and while it has already been announced that he’ll be bringing back defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and the rest of the defensive coaches, he still needs to round out his offensive staff. Jets WR’s coach Karl Dorrell will interview for the same position with Green Bay, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Dorrell got his start under Mike Shanahan, who LaFleur also used to coach under, so the connection is there.
  • The Rams are losing Zac Taylor to the Bengals, as their 35-year-old quarterbacks coach will take over the head coaching gig in Cincinnati, and they almost lost another assistant. Senior offensive assistant Jedd Fisch had an interview for the head coaching vacancy at Temple, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport also notes that Fisch, the former Jaguars and UCLA offensive coordinator, could be “an option to fill a key offensive position next year” with the departure of Taylor.
  • Byron Leftwich wasn’t able to do much after taking over as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator this season, but Bruce Arians has a ton of confidence in his new offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers. Arians called Leftwich a “rising star” and said Arizona’s offensive struggles were because they weren’t running Leftwich’s offense, per Nick Shook of NFL.com. It’s been rumored that Arians views Leftwich as his eventual successor when he retires from coaching for good.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Mayo, Van Pelt, Raiders

The NFL Players Association has formally filed a grievance against the league challenging the NFL’s new personal conduct policy, which was adopted in December despite the NFLPA’s objections, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The union contends that it didn’t have an opportunity to collectively bargain many key points of the new policy, arguing that the policy violates the CBA and that it was adopted “without the consent, and over the objections, of the NFLPA.”

While we wait to see what comes of the union’s grievance, let’s round up several items from across the NFL….

  • Injured Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has been prioritizing his rehabilitation after a season-ending knee injury, and fully intends to get back on the field in 2015, but he has also developed an interest in coaching during his time spent on injured reserve, writes Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I’m just trying to learn as much as I can,” Mayo said. “If I do choose to go down that road, hopefully I can apply some of these principles that I’ve learned from coach [Bill] Belichick in my coaching career.”
  • While a previous report revealed the Packers turned down the Rams’ request to speak to Alex Van Pelt about their offensive coordinator job, St. Louis wasn’t the only team rebuffed by Green Bay. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the Jaguars and Bears were also denied permission to interview Van Pelt.
  • The Raiders have officially confirmed a handful of new additions to Jack Del Rio’s staff, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Todd Downing (QB coach), Marcus Robertson (DB coach), Sal Sunseri (LB coach), and Mike Tice (OL coach).
  • The Jets also announced several new assistants in addition to their new coordinators. According to the team, Mike Caldwell (assistant HC/ILB coach), Mark Collins (OLB coach), Joe Danna (DB/S coach), and Karl Dorrell (WR coach) are among the new arrivals.
  • Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey isn’t phased by the fact that 2015 could be a make-or-break season for him and head coach Joe Philbin, suggesting that he approaches every season as if it’s make-or-break, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
  • The Texans have made some front office changes, promoting Jon Carr to director of college scouting and hiring Matt Jansen to the new position of college scouting coordinator, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links).
  • We learned yesterday that Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett met with the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl, but Miami is far from the only team to interview Lockett. The wideout, who is generating plenty of buzz in Mobile, tells James Walker of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he spoke to 28 NFL teams this week.

AFC East Notes: Tannehill, Dolphins, Jets, Bills

Speaking today to reporters, including Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey had nothing but praise for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While Hickey didn’t commit to picking up Tannehill’s fifth-year option for 2016, Beasley views that as a lock at this point, and suggests that the two sides could even work out a longer-term agreement this offseason.

Let’s round up a few more items on the Dolphins and some of their AFC East rivals…

  • Asked about the future of wide receiver Mike Wallace with the Dolphins, Hickey was noncommittal, and certainly wasn’t as effusive with his praise for Wallace as he was for Tannehill, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The GM made it clear that the decision on Wallace would be a collaborative effort that would involve head coach Joe Philbin and new executive VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum.
  • Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell, who worked with Todd Bowles in Miami, is expected to join the Jets‘ staff, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). It’s not yet clear what Dorrell’s role in New York would be, but he has worked as a quarterbacks coach and a receivers coach in the past.
  • Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf, who advised the Jets during the team’s search for a general manager and head coach, are done with the club for now, but aren’t ruling out potentially continuing the relationship in the future, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • The Bills‘ front office continues to undergo some changes under new ownership, according to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has fired director of pro personnel Tom Gibbons. Gibbons’ contract had been set to expire in June, after this year’s draft.