Darren Rizzi had to know the questions were coming.
“So what happened?” a reporter asked as soon as he stepped to the microphones Thursday.
“What happened with?” Rizzi said.
As if he didn’t know everyone wanted his reaction to an incident late in Sunday’s Dolphins-Bills game in which a fracas broke out on an out-of-bounds play on the Miami sideline. Video showed Buffalo linebacker Jerry Hughes head-butting Rizzi, the Dolphins’ special teams coordinator and assistant head coach.
“Listen, you guys have probably seen the video by now,” Rizzi said. “The bottom line is: there was a scuffle on the sideline. I was clearly trying to be a peacemaker there. Trying to keep … They had a bunch of guys running off the field onto our sideline. I was just trying to keep the peace, trying to stay between our guys and their guys.
“Listen, things like that on the sideline sometimes happen when their players come onto your sideline. Again, (I was) just trying to be a peacemaker, staying away, get guys out of the way. Good job by the officials getting everybody out of there quickly. Listen, things like that happen. Move on. No big deal.”
Reporters being reporters, we weren’t ready to move on.
Has Rizzi been contacted by the league for any investigation?
Nothing is going on?
“No. On to New England,” he said.
(Naturally, this remark was purely coincidental in that the New England Patriots are on the horizon Sunday and Rizzi was copying a favored technique of Pats coach Bill Belichick whenever he doesn’t like a question, which is most questions.)
Rizzi was then asked about the dialogue happening during the bruhaha.
“Listen, in those situations there is just a lot of testosterone going around, a lot guys trying to get … Our people on our side were trying to clear our sideline and get guys out of there. Again, I was trying to be a peacemaker, as you saw. Listen, it is what it is. There’s no big deal. I’d rather move on. It seems like it was months ago at this point. (We’re) trying to move on to this game. I think a bigger deal has been made of it than it really was.”
We in the media were just about ready to let it go. Just about. As a finale, Rizzi was asked to recite the best wisecrack he heard, either from his kids or his players, over the whole thing.
“Honestly, probably most of the people that I know probably told me, ‘I’m too old. Get the hell out of there. There are guys with equipment on.’ That’s about it.
“(Laughter) I know you probably want more. Again, I think a bigger deal has been made of it than it was. Again, I’m just trying to be a peacemaker there, staying in the middle, get guys out of there. I was just concerned with our players’ safety. That was the biggest thing.”
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