(AP) New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton says he's hired Darren Rizzi as special teams coordinator.
Rizzi, whose hiring was announced Monday, fills a vacancy that opened when former coordinator Bradford Banta was fired after this season, his second on the job.
Rizzi has spent the past 10 seasons as an assistant with Miami and has 26 years of coaching experience at the professional and college levels. The Dolphins have been among the league leaders in blocked kicks during the past eight seasons 22 during that span, including 11 blocked punts.
Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders made 90 percent of his field goal attempts (18 of 20) this season while Miami punter Matt Haack ranked fifth in the NFL in punts inside the 20-yard line with 35. The Dolphins' 10.5 yards per punt return ranked eighth.
Rizzi's college coaching stops included Rutgers, Rhode Island and Northeastern.
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