Don T in CO
From: Colorado Springs
Source tells me @vikings have hired @MiamiDolphins asst special teams coach Marwan Maalouf as their new ST coach
He (Maalouf) got his start in special teams with Jon Harbaugh in Baltimore. Maalouf also recently assisted Miami STs coach Darren Rizzi, one of the league's top coordinators. He's been influenced by some quality coaches
Working with Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi, Maalouf has helped the Dolphins rank in the top half of Rick Gosselin’s annual Dallas Morning News Special Teams rankings each season he has been in Miami.
In 2017, the Dolphins were tied for third in the NFL with three blocked kicks – two field goals and one punt. Kicker Cody Parkey tied the team record for highest field goal percentage, converting 21-of-23 opportunities (91.3 pct.) and earned AFC Player of the Week honors after he made the longest game-winning kick (54 yards) in team history in the season opener at the L.A. Chargers (9/17). Parkey also successfully converted four onside kicks, the most in NFL history since records date back to 1997. The kickoff coverage unit was the best in the NFL, with opponents’ average starting field position following a kickoff at the 23-yard line. Gosselin ranked the Dolphins special teams units No. 11 in the NFL while Pro Football Focus graded the units No. 6. Michael Thomas earned PFF’s Special Teamer of the Year award and led the team with 11 special teams tackles.
Gosselin ranked the Dolphins special teams unit No. 7 in the NFL in 2016. The high ranking was due in part because Miami led the league in opponent gross punting as opposing punters tried to keep it away from Jakeem Grant. Grant and Kenyan Drake became the first Dolphins rookie tandem to return a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same season since 1981. It was just the fourth time in the NFL since the merger in 1970 that different rookies on the same team took back a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the same year. Miami also ranked in the top 10 in opponents’ starting field position after a kickoff (10th/24.4 yard line), own starting field position after a kickoff (8th/25.3 yard line), and opponents’ net punting average (3rd/37.4 net yards per punt). The Dolphins also tied for the NFL lead with four blocked kicks. Three of those were credited to the field goal block unit, which ranked No. 5 in the NFL in field goal percentage against. Kicker Andrew Franks made the first two game-winning kicks of his NFL career and drilled an even more impressive kick, booting a 55-yard field goal at Buffalo (12/24) to send the game into overtime as the field goal unit rushed onto the field with time running out.
In 2015, Maalouf helped the Dolphins rank No. 15 despite having a rookie punter and kicker. Wide receiver and punt returner Jarvis Landry opened the season with a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Week 1 win at Washington, earning himself AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Rookie punter Matt Darr averaged 47.6 yards per punt, the fourth-best single-season mark in team history and finished third in the NFL in the statistic. Rookie kicker Andrew Franks successfully converted 13 of his 16 field goal attempts and the field goal block unit ranked No. 1 in the NFL in field goal percentage against.
Maalouf assisted with a unit that set a franchise record with three blocked punts in a season in 2014. They also added two blocked field goals, giving Miami five blocked kicks on the year, the most since the team blocked seven in 1977. Explosive plays weren’t limited to the block units as Landry, a rookie, won AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October when he returned five kickoffs for 178 yards (35.6), with a long of 54 yards. The 35.6 average kickoff return was the second-highest in the NFL in October and was the highest October average in franchise history. Landry finished the season with a 28.1 kick return average, the fourth-highest in the NFL and tops among rookies.
In 2013, Maalouf assisted with a unit that was rated among the top eight in the NFL based on the annual Dallas Morning News Special Teams rankings. The 2013 special teams units were highlighted by the play of Brandon Fields, who earned his first Pro Bowl berth. Fields ranked No. 2 in the NFL in gross punt average (48.8 yards per punt), No. 2 in net average (42.4, which is the eight best in NFL history), tied for No. 3 with 33 punts inside the 20-yard line and also recorded the third-longest punt (74 yards) during the season. Fields is one of only two Dolphins punters to be selected to the Pro Bowl, joining Reggie Roby (1984, 1989).
Maalouf joined the Dolphins after spending the 2012 season as special teams coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts. Under his direction, the Colts special teams significantly improved in 2012, aided in part by returning a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same season for the just the sixth time in franchise history and first since 2001. The kick return unit recorded its first touchdown since 2009. The Colts also posted an 11.1-yard average per punt return which ranked as the fourth-highest punt return average in franchise history. Individually, the Colts special teams saw returner Deji Karim return a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown in the final week of the regular season against the Houston Texans. Karim’s return was the longest return in franchise history in 39 years. In 2012, Pat McAfee was among the elite kickoff specialists and punters in the NFL, finishing third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL in punting average with a 47.9 per punt average. McAfee, who also handled the kickoff duties for Indianapolis, finished fourth in the AFC and eighth in the NFL with 43 touchback kicks. McAfee made his mark in the Colts history books as his 2012 season set franchise single- season records for kickoff touchbacks (43), punting average (47.9), net punting average (40.3), 50.0-yard average games (five) and tied the franchise record for punts inside the 20 (26). Rounding out Maalouf’s unit in 2012 was kicker Adam Vinatieri. His 53-yard game-winning field goal against the Minnesota Vikings was the longest game-winning field goal Vinatieri has made in his career in the last minute of the fourth quarter or in overtime. Also in 2012, Vinatieri surpassed 100 points scored for the season for the 15th time in his career.
Prior to joining the Colts, Maalouf spent four seasons (2008-11) as the assistant special teams coach for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2010, Maalouf helped rookie kickoff returner David Reed lead the NFL in kickoff return average (29.2) and coached a unit which finished third in the league in opponent average starting position (27.2-yard line). Kicker Billy Cundiff earned his first Pro Bowl invitation after tying an NFL mark with 40 touchbacks (since kickoffs moved back to the 30-yard line).
In 2009, Baltimore ranked No. 2 in the NFL in both kickoff return average (26.3) and opponents’ average starting field position (26.9). Maalouf joined the Ravens in 2008 and that season coached punter Sam Koch, who had the NFL’s fifth-best net punting average (39.9). Koch also led the league with 18 punts inside the 10-yard line and was second in the league with 34 kicks inside the 20-yard line. Maalouf also helped guide special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo to his third Pro Bowl selection.