Miami Dolphins

Dolphins promote Darren Rizzi to assistant head coach

Miami Dolphins assistant coach Darren Rizzi, left, reacts with head coach Joe Philbin during an offical review as they play the Minnesota Vikings at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.
Miami Dolphins assistant coach Darren Rizzi, left, reacts with head coach Joe Philbin during an offical review as they play the Minnesota Vikings at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Darren Rizzi is the longest-tenured coach on the Dolphins’ staff.

He’s now also the second-most powerful.

The Dolphins on Monday promoted Rizzi, their special teams coordinator, to assistant head coach.

Rizzi, in his seventh season with the organization, will still be in charge of the kicking teams.

Rizzi was among the names rumored to replace Joe Philbin a few weeks back, but the organization ultimately decided to elevate Dan Campbell to interim coach.

Unlike Campbell, Rizzi has prior head-coaching experience; he had the top job at Rhode Island in 2008. Rizzi is the third Dolphins coach to receive a significant promotion in the past week; the Dolphins also tabbed assistant Lou Anarumo to replace Kevin Coyle as defensive coordinator.

“To me, it was logical,” Campbell said. “He’s done things around here for coach [Joe] Philbin that I’m not sure people have even really realized. From scheduling to who sits on the plane — this is all on top of special teams, by the way, which is a damn good special teams — what time they’re going to eat downstairs, to the practice script, what it should look like or tweaks in it, to game-time management.”

Campbell added: “I can’t tell you the last five days how much this man has been able to help me. It was logical, OK? He’s done these things for a long time. He’s a hell of a coach. The guys respect him. And he deserves it.”

ALBERT UPDATE

The bye has apparently served Branden Albert well.

The Dolphins’ left tackle, who missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, suited up and practiced Monday. Albert told reporters he’s feeling better, an encouraging sign that he will be available when the Dolphins visit the Titans on Sunday.

The news wasn’t so good for Brent Grimes. The cornerback (sprained MCL) was sidelined at the beginning of practice.

“I thought they looked good today,” Campbell said. “Albert did a little bit of work today. He’s getting better every time he steps out there. And Grimes, he’s a vet. We’ll just see how he looks. He was out there, ran a little bit today. We’ll see what happens. It’s early.”

ELSEWHERE

Cameron Wake (hamstring) and A.J. Francis (undisclosed) also did not participate in the portion of practice open to reporters.

▪ Cornerback Will Davis, traded by the Dolphins to the Ravens a few weeks ago in exchange for a 2016 seventh-round pick, has a torn ACL for the second consecutive year.

Davis hurt his knee in Sunday’s loss to the Browns and will miss the rest of the season.

▪ Campbell, on new senior offensive assistant Al Saunders: “I’ll tell you what, and I mean this with all respect, when I’m his age — if I’m even alive — I hope I have his energy.”

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