Jupiter’s Cody Parkey has sympathy of Darren Rizzi after missed field goal at Miami


Glad to see that former Jupiter High School star Cody Parkey is still a member of the Cleveland Browns following his rough and rapid debut in last week’s 30-24 overtime loss at Miami.

Parkey was added to the Browns’ roster last Friday, two days before that game, when the regular kicker got injured. His first time working with his new teammates was during pregame warmups at Hard Rock Stadium. Three hours later he was sent out to attempt what could have been the winning field goal from 46 yards at the end of regulation. He missed.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Andre Branch (50) and Miami Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain (28) celebrate a last second miss by Cleveland Browns place kicker Cody Parkey (3) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
MIAMI GARDENS – Miami Dolphins defensive end Andre Branch (50) and Miami Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain (28) celebrate a last second miss by Cleveland Browns place kicker Cody Parkey (3) on September 25, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Not really fair to blast the guy when he barely had met his holder and the long snapper and the special teams coach. Also, as Dolphins assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said this week, practicing alone is not the same as trying to make one under the crazy heat of an NFL game.

“Cody Parkey has been a Pro Bowler in this league,” said Rizzi, “but he was out of it for a little bit. He’s been out since preseason (cut by the Eagles on Sept. 3) and it’s very hard to simulate this job. You can go to any field, whether it’s Jupiter High School or anywhere, and stay in shape, but you can’t simulate a live rush in a situation like that.

“It’s like me going out in my back yard and making 20 free throws in a row all by myself. All of a sudden you put me in a game situation and things change.”

Browns coach Hue Jackson cut Parkey some slack when asked about Parkey earlier this week, but with a qualifier. Asked if he plans to keep Parkey as his kicker after missing 3-of-6 against Miami, he said, “Yes, I do right now.”

“That’s a tough job,” Jackson continued. “I can’t put that on him. That’s a tough situation. Everybody says, well, that’s the kicker’s job. It’s his job, but normally a guy has a job, he’s been around his employer a little bit, he’s been around his teammates a little bit. It was tough. It was tough circumstances. Unfortunate. If he would’ve made it, we’d be celebrating right now. But he didn’t. And I think it’s unfair just to dump it all on him.”

Cleveland plays Sunday at Washington, which means that Parkey fortunately has another chance to perform to his usual standards without hearing the potential boos or any other fan reactions at a Browns home game. He could go 5-for-5 in a victory over the Redskins and win the entire city over.

For the moment, it makes sense to think that the Browns are checking around to see who else is available on an emergency basis, just like every team does, the Dolphins included. After all, that’s what got Parkey this opportunity.

[Running with Arnie’s Army during his final Masters round in 2004]

[Tim Tebow gamely trying to fit in with Mets’ Instructional League kids]

[Lamar Jackson could do what no other Palm Beach County athlete ever has]

Patrick Murray, the Browns’ regular kicker, has been placed on injured reserve after hurting a knee in last Friday’s walk-through practice session prior to the team’s flight to Miami.

Parkey set an NFL rookie record for points (150) with Philadelphia in 2014. He also made the Pro Bowl that year. In 2015 he didn’t play much because of a groin injury.

Florida fans remember Parkey for his time at Auburn, and a 42-yard field goal he made to wrap up a 17-6 win over the Gators in 2011. He also made a 52-yarder in the 2013 SEC Championship game against Missouri and kicked for the Tigers against Florida State in the BCS Championship game that same year.

Dan Campbell’s right-hand man, Darren Rizzi, gives his view of amazing day

NASHVILLE – We probably won’t be hearing much the rest of the way from Darren Rizzi, the Miami Dolphins’ new assistant head coach and Dan Campbell’s right-hand man.

Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell calls a timeout near the end of the first quarter with assistant head coach Darren Rizzi (left) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on October 18, 2015.  (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell calls a timeout near the end of the first quarter with assistant head coach Darren Rizzi (left) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on October 18, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

It’s the long-standing policy of the Dolphins and most NFL teams that the head coach and the offensive and defensive coordinators be made available to the media on a regular basis. Most of the others are off limits except for special requests.

Well, Sunday’s 38-10 win at Tennessee was about as special as it gets, so I stopped Rizzi on his way to the bus for a brief interview about Carpenter’s debut. Rizzi, Miami’s special teams coordinator, has head coaching experience at New Haven and Rhode Island and he has consulted Campbell on all the basics of the job, during game preparation, during practice and during the game.

There’s some interesting stuff here, including confirmation that Campbell was thinking about going for it on fourth-and-3 at the Titans 7-yard line in the first quarter. Miami took a field goal instead to go up 10-3, but not until kicking around all the options during the first timeout of Campbell’s coaching career.

Asked about what Campbell did right, Rizzi said “Dan did a hell of a job turning this into a 12-game season and having all the focus be about this game and our team and not the four weeks of negative stuff that happened.

“It was just keeping the focus on moving it forward. That was his message, and if today is a judge, he did a pretty darn good job.”

[Steve Spurrier was more like a hoops coach on sidelines, which note everyone got]

[Matt Moore gives Dolphins the kind of QB security other teams crave]

[The comeback of Chris Bosh is as much mental as physical]

Asked if part of his job was tamping down Campbell’s enthusiasm and nervousness, Rizzi said “it was just trying to keep him abreast of game situations. He’s obviously an excitable guy. I thought it worked well today. There certainly were some different things we can improve on, but certainly it was a good start.”

What general advice did Rizzi give Campbell on being the head coach?

“I joked with him when he was named the head coach and walked into his office and sat down that there’s going to be a funnel that comes to this desk that you don’t k now about,” Rizzi said. “Everything is going to end up on your desk, everything from the whole building to game management to non-football issues.

“I thought he did a hell of a job these last few days of focusing down on just the team and the game. It’s baptism by fire, that’s for sure. If anybody can handle it, he can.”

What about the timeout called in the first quarter, and the way it progressed to unsuccessfully trying to draw the Titan offsides for a first down inside the 5-yard line rather than settling for a short field goal?

“It was a collective effort there,” Rizzi said. “Kind of a three-thought process. No. 1, thinking about going for it, and we called a timeout to talk about it. No. 2, take the field goal. No. 3, trying to draw them offsides, because it was still a short-enough field goal.

“Let’s be honest. That first-half timeout, we thought that was a good one to take at that point.”

Also being honest, Joe Philbin probably would have gotten slammed for doing the same thing.


Once-proud Miami Dolphins have become the Raiders in every way that counts

So now it’s Dan Campbell in the soup.

So now the Miami Dolphins, once among the proudest and most reliable organizations in the NFL, have become the Oakland Raiders.

Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68), celebrates with tight ends coach Dan Campbell after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during their NFL game Sunday afternoon, Sept. 22, 2013, at Sun Life stadium in Miami Gardens.(Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post)
Former Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68), celebrates with former tight ends coach Dan Campbell, now the team’s head coach, after defeating the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 22, 2013. (Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post)

Check that, the Raiders are 2-3 at the moment, better than Miami’s record, and the boss in Oakland is Jack Del Rio, not a stupendously successful head coach but one with a decade of NFL experience in the job.

Compare that to the Dolphins, who with the worst kind of timing have chosen their golden 50th season to go all the way back to square one.

Miami’s head coach, temporarily or otherwise, is Campbell. In five seasons beyond the coaching intern stage, he has worked exclusively with Dolphin tight ends. His head coaching mentors have been Tony Sparano and Joe Philbin. Sounds like a guy who needs all the help he can get in setting up a winning program, so here goes.

For an assistant head coach, a right-hand man, the team has handed Campbell special-teams coordinator Darren Rizzi.

For a defensive coordinator he gets Lou Anarumo, who was in the coaching game for 20 years before making the step up to the NFL.

For help in fixing the offense Campbell keeps coordinator Bill Lazor, who to this point has been grasping at straws, with the bonus of Al Saunders in a consultant’s role. Saunders is 68 and a former NFL head coach but this doesn’t seem the stage of life where he’s willing to spend every day at practice and every game in headphones.

They don’t call them consultants for nothing.

[Steve Spurrier was a furious sideline force, more like a basketball coach]

[Jordan Spieth’s spectacular season was pretty much average for Tiger of old]

Of course, there’s a lot of hollering right now about getting tougher and pitting teammates against each other in practice and, as Campbell put it at his introductory press conference, taking this thing to where “it’s all about being primates again.”

If that doesn’t sound like the Raider way, what does?

Here is a shocking numbers, and made all the worse by the fact that Miami was ruled for 26 seasons, and very well, by Don Shula, the NFL’s all-time winningest coach.

Over the last 10 years, beginning in 2006, the Dolphins have had six head coaches, interims included. Only one team has had more coaches over that period. That would be seven. That, naturally, would be the Raiders.

Look now at the list of teams coached by one man over the last 10 years. It’s a stable group, like the Dolphins once were. New England, Green Bay, the New York Giants and Cincinnati.

All right, maybe you don’t think the Bengals are that great of an NFL brand name but, hey, who in South Florida has the right to look down on any other market now?

Bottom line, the Dolphins have really ripped the cord on anything that used to make them special and are caught in a free-fall that could last for years.

The Philbin years might actually start looking good after a while, just as the Dave Wannstedt years do now.

This franchise is going backwards after half a century.

Now comes the scrounging for other team’s properties. Instead of Joe Robbie throwing a first-round draft pick into the pot to get Shula from the Colts, it’s Stephen Ross toying with the idea of robbing Sean Payton from the Saints.

Might as well buy a Raiders jersey now. They’re interchangeable.

Whatever that Dolphins logo once stood for has been reduced to a fresh smear.