Miami Dolphins

Getting to the bottom of what exactly the Dolphins’ Spaight said to incur Rizzi’s anger

Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi wants more players on his punt return squad

Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi is happy with his punt returners but would like a larger squad to choose from.
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Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi is happy with his punt returners but would like a larger squad to choose from.

Darren Rizzi has now twice gone viral for his demonstrative reaction to costly plays by his special teamers.

Both have been in games against the Bengals.

Two years ago, Rizzi tore into Terrence Fede for rouging the punter to extend a drive.

On Sunday, Martrell Spaight got lit up after officials flagged him for taunting at the end of a punt return.

Thing is, Spaight insists he did nothing wrong.

“Honestly, I didn’t even say anything,” Spaight said. “I remember playing [Alex] Erickson when I was back at Washington. He got up, he was laughing. I got up, I was laughing. We started walking towards each other and looking on film, I think that’s what makes it bad, because I had all of my teammates behind me. We kind of face-to-face. I think it was just a horrible call.”

Spaight’s story has independent confirmation. A South Florida-based videographer was close enough to hear the exchange, and told Dolphins coaches that Spaight said nothing to deserve a flag.

But it’s not like Spaight could get a word in edgewise to explain during Rizzi’s rant.

“Oh my god,” Spaight said, laughing. “He gave me the business, man. As soon as he say we got a flag, he was asking who the flag was on, I already knew what time it was. I just had to take it like a man and move forward.”

Rizzi offered this explanation during his weekly press briefly on Thursday: “That’s not something we want to be doing. I told him it wasn’t probably the most opportune time to get that penalty. I made it very clear it wasn’t a smart thing to do at that point.”

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