Darren Rizzi explains why Miami Dolphins are keeping footballs in freezer



Darren Rizzi, the Dolphins’ assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, had this to say Thursday:

  • On kicking when it’s single-digit temps: Says K balls (which kickers use) are hard to begin with. “There’s only so much you can do in this kind of weather. We actually put balls in the freezer, believe it or not, but five minutes later in this weather, they’re thawed out.”
  • Pregame is important in cold-weather games to get used to the conditions.
  • On Heinz Field: The open end is traditionally tough to kick in, regardless of the time of year. The river is behind it. Caleb Sturgis kicked one short last time up there and Steelers began to return it.
  • Says a lot of teams come to Hard Rock Stadium and are surprised that the wind can be tricky there, too.
  • Dolphins coaches will think about deferring and which direction they’re going in once they figure out where the wind is blowing.
  • Says Dolphins have created competitive environment with the younger players as it relates to special teams. Lafayette Pitts’ performance in practice got him promoted onto active gameday roster. Leonte Carroo had that shot out of the gate. “We needed him to be a little bit better. He said the same.” Rashawn Scott was practicing the same level as Pitts, so he also got an opportunity. “I love that guys are fighting for that 44th, 45th roster spot on gameday.” Says Carroo has been disappointed to be inactive the past couple of weeks.
  • On being outscored so badly in the first quarter and if that will affect what they do with coin toss: Coaches talk about it every week, look at how opponent does on first drives. Also factor in things such as weather. Bottom line is it’s a week-to-week decision.
  • Says Matt Moore is so competitive, has attitude where he could make a good coach after playing career.
  • On Jakeem Grant, who has had ball-security problems: He’s got good hands. Says returning punts is probably one of the hardest things to do in football. “He’s the guy who has a chance to make a big play when he’s got the ball in his hands.”

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