On Monday night the Miami Dolphins
were embarrassed and lost their second straight division game at home. The
result wasn’t just bitterness among Miami fans but a change in staff.
Less than 12 hours after the
Dolphins’ special teams unit was shamed in a 41-14 loss to the New England
Patriots, Miami fired special teams coordinator
Special teams assistant coach
Darren Rizzi will replace Bonamego, who was a special teams coordinator with
Jacksonville, Green Bay and New Orleans before coming to the Dolphins in 2008.
The result is that the Miami
Dolphins fan-base here in Cayman is split over the decision. Many fans are OK
with the change while the rest are seeing it as a bad sign. Among the fans who
have an opinion on the firing is George “Teddy” Hydes. The West Bay native is a
coach in the men’s flag football season and a former president of the Cayman
Islands Flag Football Association. An avid Dolphins fans for over a decade,
Hydes feel the move was needed.
“After a loss like that I think
they needed to shake things up,” Hydes said. “Special teams have never done
much anyway but heads are going to roll when things happen like what we saw on
Monday. The Pats scored three straight touchdowns, all on special teams and
turned the momentum of the game around. Far as I’m concerned whatever happens
after that happens. All I know is we just need to play better the rest of the
Then again Cayman fans like Kyle
Broadhurst are against the move. The organiser for the last youth flag football
league states the decision came too quick.
“I don’t know a lot about their
special teams but it’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction to me,” Broadhurst said. “I
think Monday night was a situation where one team played well and the other
didn’t. I’m a big Dolphins fan but I only caught some of the game. I saw the beginning
and it was a thrashing. Since then I’ve read up on it and not too much should
be read into the game in my opinion.
“I don’t think my Dolphins are a
bad team. I just think that the special teams have never really been that
special in Miami.”
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano stated
that Monday’s special teams disaster prompted him to make a decision he had been
pondering for quite some time.
“It’s a hard decision to make,”
Sparano said. “I know how hard this guy works. Nobody works harder than him at
what he does. Special teams is a hard area because there’s a lot of hands
involved in that area.
“What I mean is the players have
some responsibility in that area, too. And the players change a lot in that
area. Our players also need to take responsibility.”
Sparano also stated there’s no
truth to an ESPN report that the Dolphins are considering making Chad Pennington
the starting quarterback over Chad Henne, who threw three interceptions.
Aside from Ted Ginn’s two
kickoff-return touchdowns in one game last season, meagre returns and porous
kick coverage have been staples for the Dolphins the past few years.