When Joe Philbin sits down this week to evaluate the special teams unit and the job that coordinator Darren Rizzi has done, he is going to have a tough time coming to a conclusion. That’s because there were plenty of high and low moments throughout the season. Yes, the Miami Dolphins blocked plenty of punts and some field goals. Jarvis Landry was dynamic on the kick return team and they were solid in that phase of the game. However, Caleb Sturgis missed several key field goals and the punting unit had its share of struggles. Where do the Dolphins go from here? Philbin isn’t sure yet.
“I thought it was a little up-and-down, kind of like our team. I think we kind of started slow. Then I thought we really picked it up and made some impactful plays and did some positive things. I thought our block teams really did a good job. We got our hands on the ball quite a bit. I thought that aspect of our game was good. Our coverage was probably just average at the end of the day. Our return game was probably more average than we would like it to be.”
One player who will face heavy scrutiny this offseason and in training camp is kicker Caleb Sturgis. As mentioned above, he missed several key field goals and his performance on kickoffs was average. Philbin would like to see him develop at a rapid pace in the offseason.
“Just continued develop is the real goal for every player in the program. He’s no different in that regard. I think he’s done some really good things. Our expectation is when our kicker takes the field that he’s going to make every single one of them. We want him to have that standard and that type of expectation for himself. He’s a hard-working kid, and he’s dedicated to his craft. He would be just like any other player who is a guy entering his third year. We want to see continued improvement and development, (and) more importantly do a great job on Sunday.”
We’ll see if there are any changes to the special teams coaching staff. If they come back, you can bet that there will likely be personnel changes in an effort to get them to the next level.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs