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Dolphins' special teams coach gets the gate

Miami Dolphins' head coach Tony Sparano tries to

Miami Dolphins' head coach Tony Sparano tries to motivate his players on the sidelines during the second half of a 15-10 win over Buffalo. (Sept. 12, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Can't say we're completely shocked by this one, but the Dolphins decided to fire special teams coordinator John Bonamego after a disastrous performance in last night's 41-14 loss to the Patriots in Miami.

Special teams meltdowns led to 21 Patriots points. Two blocked kicks led to touchdowns, and the Patriots returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown.

Assistant special teams coach Darren Rizzi will replace Bonamego, head coach Tony Sparano announced today. Bonamego had been with Sparano since he became head coach in 2008.

"It's a hard decisoin to make," Sparano said. "I know how hard this guy works. Nobody works harder than him at what he does."

The Pats trailed 7-6 when Brandon Tate returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. Pat Chung later blocked a punt to set up another touchdown, and blocked a field goal that Kyle Arrington returned 35 yards for a touchdown to give New England a 34-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.

It was Miami's most lopsided loss since their 1-15 season in 2007.

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