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Dolphins Name Edwards, Taylor To Coaching Staff, Retain Three Coaches

Posted Jan 30, 2012

The Miami Dolphins today named George Edwards as their linebacker coach, and Zac Taylor as their assistant quarterbacks coach, while also announcing that tight ends coach Dan Campbell, strength coach Darren Krein and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi have been retained on Head Coach Joe Philbin’s staff for the upcoming season.

Edwards returns to the Dolphins following a two year stint with the Buffalo Bills where he served as the team’s defensive coordinator. While with the Bills, Edwards implemented a base 3-4 defense, however the unit was versatile and played out of multiple fronts throughout his tenure. During his time with the Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams emerged as a defensive anchor and was named to his first Pro Bowl and produced career numbers in sacks (5.5) and fumble recoveries (2) in 2010. Also under Edwards watch in 2010 the Bills pass defense yielded 192.0 passing yards per game to rank third in the AFC, while producing nine fumble recoveries to tie for fourth in the AFC and forcing 12 fumbles to tie for fifth in the AFC.

Prior to joining the Bills, Edwards spent 12 years in the NFL ranks, including five as a linebackers coach for the Dolphins. His first three years with Miami were spent tutoring the linebackers before focusing on the inside linebackers in 2008. In 2005, Edwards’ first year with the Dolphins, Zach Thomas was selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time, as he recorded 166 tackles despite only playing in 14 games. Rookie Channing Crowder, a third-round draft choice, made a tremendous impact on the success of the defense as he started 13 games and registered 90 tackles, the highest total by a Dolphins rookie since 1996 (Thomas, 180). In 2006, Thomas was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad once again, and Crowder recorded 104 tackles, the second consecutive season in which the pair finished 1-2 on the team’s tackle chart, respectively. Crowder was second on the club in 2008 with 114 tackles, marking a career best and also the second time that he attained this plateau. In addition, not only did Akin Ayodele add 74 stops, but he also intercepted two passes, the fourth-highest total on the team.

Taylor comes to the Dolphins from Texas A&M where he served as the offensive graduate assistant and tight ends coach. Prior to entering the coaching ranks with the Aggies, Taylor was the 2006 Big 12 player of the year at as a quarterback at Nebraska, passing for over 2700 yards on the season leading the Cornhuskers to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game. Taylor spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being signed as an undrafted college free agent on April 29, 2007, but was waived prior to the start of training camp and then joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in the fall of 2007.

Campbell returns in 2012 for his second season as tight ends coach. Campbell originally joined the Dolphins prior to the 2010 season, serving as a coaching intern/offense, prior to being elevated to his current role for the 2011 season. In 2011 Campbell tutored a young group led by a reliable veteran Anthony Fasano who had 32 receptions for 451 yards and five touchdowns.

Campbell joined the Dolphins after 11 years of playing experience with the New York Giants (1999-2002), Dallas Cowboys (2003-05), Detroit Lions (2006-08) and the New Orleans Saints (2009). A third-round selection of the Giants in the 1999 NFL draft, the former tight end appeared in 114 games with 75 starts over the course of his career and caught 91 passes for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Krein enters his second season with the Dolphins after being named the head strength and conditioning coach on January 20, 2011 and then being retained by head coach Joe Philbin on January 30, 2012. Prior to his arrival in Miami, Krein spent 11 years in the NFL in various strength and conditioning capacities, having been a part of the Seattle Seahawks staff on two different occasions, (1997-98; and 2001-09). He originally joined the Seahawks as a member of Dennis Erickson’s staff on March 1, 1997, for two seasons and re-joined the team in 2001 in the same capacity under Mike Holmgren. Krein holds the distinction of being the first-ever assistant strength and conditioning coach hired by the Seattle Seahawks.

Prior to joining the Seahawks in a coaching capacity, Krein was a 1994 fifth-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers (150th overall). He missed his rookie season due to a knee injury. Claimed off waivers by the Green Bay Packers on June 17, 1995, but did not play. Krein played the 1996 World League season with the Barcelona Dragons, but re-injured his knee and retired. A four-year letterman as a defensive end at the University of Miami (1989-1993) he was a unanimous first-team All-Big East as a senior and left the Hurricanes with 190 career tackles and 17.5 sacks after beginning his career as a middle linebacker.

Rizzi returns for the 2012 season following an impressive 2011 by the Dolphins special teams. The units headed by kicker Dan Carpenter and punter Brandon Fields showed the biggest improvement in the NFL from 2010 to 2011 according the annual special teams report compiled by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. The improvement saw the Dolphins jump from their 2010 ranking of 24th in the NFL to second in 2011, the 22 place advancement was aided by Carpenter’s 13 of 16 in field goals from 40 yards and beyond and Fields ‘net punting average of 41.1 yards, finishing just behind the special teams units of the San Francisco 49ers. The annual analysis compiled by Gosselin is widely thought of as the most accurate assessment of the NFL’s special teams as it judges 22 elements of the kicking game and ranks them from 1 to 32, with the lowest scoring unit accounting for the best score. In 2011 the Dolphins ranked in the top 10 in 14 categories of those categories.

Rizzi originally joined the Dolphins in 2009 with four years of experience as a college head coach, including the 2008 season at the University of Rhode Island. Prior to taking over the program at URI, Rizzi was an assistant at Rutgers for the previous six seasons (2002-07), where he headed up the Scarlet Knights’ special teams unit. He also tutored the team’s running backs his first three years there and the linebackers for his final three. In addition, he held the title of assistant head coach from 2004-06 and associate head coach in 2007. In Rizzi’s six years at RU, he coached three players who earned first-team All-Big East honors in special teams including kick returner Nate Jones (2002), kick/punt returner Willie Foster (2005) and punter Joe Radigan (2006). Jones also was named the conference’s co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2002 while Foster was the Big East Special Teams Player of the Year in 2005.

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