Miami Dolphins’ fiery Matt Burke: The (Jim) Schwartz will always be with me

Matt Burke (right), the coaching the Detroit Lions' linebackers, consults with coach Jim Schwartz during a game against Arizona in 2013. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Matt Burke (right), the coaching the Detroit Lions’ linebackers, consults with coach Jim Schwartz during a game against Arizona in 2013. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

On the day of his biggest promotion, Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke hesitated to rattle off all the coaches who have had an influence on his career, but there was one he had to credit.

Former Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz offered Burke a foot in the NFL door about the time Burke’s father began giving up on the idea that his son would try law school or med school. Schwartz first recommended Burke for an administrative assistant on the Tennessee Titans in 2004, when Schwartz was defensive coordinator. Word was that Burke impressed coach Jeff Fisher so much a job was immediately offered.

[Click here to learn more about Burke.]

A handful of years later, Burke joined Schwartz’s Lions staff as linebackers coach, a role he filled from 2009-13.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jim Schwartz,” Burke said Thursday upon being named by Adam Gase to replace Vance Joseph. “ … I’ve spent 10 years with him and think the world of him.”

As Lions coach, the fiery Schwartz was a magnet for network cameras, which zeroed in on him whenever things went wrong. Asked if it’s safe to describe himself as fiery, too, Burke said, “Probably. I like to think I bring a certain level of energy and fire to this game.”

Only time will tell if Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi will have competition when it comes to staring down players who mess up. For now, just know the Schwartz will be with Burke on the sidelines.

“I don’t know if I’m going to steal his patented fist pump or anything like that but I’ll probably cuss a little bit more than he did on the sidelines,” Burke said. “I hope the guys are ready for that.”

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