Ricardo Allen didn’t waste much time jumping from his first football career to his second. As D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the former safety has joined the Dolphins’ coaching staff as special teams assistant.
Allen, 30, retired not long after playing in the Super Bowl for the Bengals. He played one season in Cincinnati, following six with the Falcons, including another campaign in which he reached – but didn’t win – the Super Bowl. When announcing his decision, Allen made it clear he would transition to coaching.
A native of Daytona Beach, Allen will be working with a familiar face in new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. McDaniel was an offensive assistant during part of Allen’s playing days in Atlanta, and the latter actually sat in on offensive meetings during that time, Ledbetter notes. Despite playing as a safety, Allen has stated a desire to climb the coaching ladder on the offensive side of the ball, and ultimately become an OC – a process which will begin in 2022.
Here are some other coaching notes from around the AFC:
- Ryan Paganetti is joining Doug Pederson in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are hiring him under the title of director of coaching analytics, per ESPN’s Seth Walder (Twitter link). Paganetti had worked with Pederson before, serving on the Eagles’ staff from 2017-2020. Most recently, he had been an assistant linebackers coach, while also having ‘game management’ a part of his title.
- Allen isn’t the only 30-something former player making his first foray onto the NFL sidelines. The Jets have hired Greg Scruggs as an assistant defensive line coach (Twitter link via ESPN’s Pete Thamel). The 31-year-old won two Super Bowls during a playing career that spanned five seasons across Seattle, Chicago and New England. He spent the past two campaigns coaching the defensive line at the University of Cincinnati.
- The Broncos are adding Zack Grossi as an offensive quality control coach (Twitter link via Thamel). He held a number of titles during a five-year stint with the Buccaneers, including the same position he is taking in Denver. He then moved to the college ranks, working as Hampton University’s QBs coach. Mostly recently, he has been the OC and QBs coach at Southern University.
- Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network tweets that the Raiders are hiring Matt Feeney as a defensive assistant. The 30-year-old has been a college coach for the past eight years, most recently serving as the defensive coordinator for Akron.