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Bradford Banta
Special Teams Coordinator
Bradford Banta joins the New Orleans Saints in 2017 as the club’s special teams coordinator, in his 10th year as an NFL assistant after 11-year career in the league as a long snapper.

Bradford Banta joins the New Orleans Saints in 2017 as the club’s special teams coordinator, in his 10th year as an NFL assistant after 11-year career in the league as a long snapper.

Banta enters his first season in charge of a team’s special teams unit, after serving as an assistant special teams coach with the Washington Redskins from 2014-06 and with the Detroit Lions from 2008-11.

During his stint in Washington, Banta contributed to the Redskins’ success in the kicking game the past two seasons, where they totaled four special teams touchdowns (two kickoff returns, one punt return and a blocked punt recovery). In 2016, the Redskins ranked fourth in the NFL in punt return average (12.7) and K Dustin Hopkins ranked third in the league in scoring among kickers with 138 points. In 2015, despite the unit having to use 60 different players (tied for seventh-most in the NFL), Washington’s special teams ranked fourth in the league in kickoff coverage (20.5) and also contributed three touchdowns, two on kickoff returns for a return unit ranked ninth (25.0).

Prior to joining the Redskins, Banta spent six seasons with the Lions in various coaching capacities, including serving as assistant special teams coach in his first four seasons with the club and as assistant linebackers coach from 2012-13. Under his guidance in 2012, the Lions linebacker corps of Stephen Tulloch, Justin Durant and DeAndre Levy led the Lions in total tackles, finishing with 112, 103 and 81, respectively. In 2013, he contributed to a breakout season for Levy, who led all NFL linebackers with six interceptions.

In assisting with the Lions special teams for his first four seasons, Banta helped John Wendling tie for first in the NFL in special teams tackles (51) across the 2010-12 campaigns. In 2011, K Jason Hanson finished with 126 points, the fourth-best single-season total in Lions history, and his five 50-yard field goals made him the first player in NFL history to kick 50 50-yard field goals in his career. In 2010, the Lions’ kick return unit was the third-most improved unit in the NFL in kickoff return average with 3.5 more yards per return than in 2009. Detroit also had the NFL’s 10th-most significant improvement in punt return average in 2010 (8.8 avg. in 2009, 12.1 avg. in 2010). Detroit had the fourth-most improved kickoff coverage unit, allowing an average of 2.7 less yards per each kick return in 2010. Before joining the Lions as a coach in 2008, Banta spent the 2007 season as a tight ends coach for Tennessee-Chattanooga.

After being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft, Banta spent six seasons with the Colts and established himself as one of the league’s best long snappers. He joined the New York Jets for the 2011 campaign, before playing three seasons with the Lions from 2001-03. He finished his 11-year playing career with Buffalo in 2004.

Banta was a two-year starter at tight end at the University of Southern California (1989-93) as well as a four-time letter winner. He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac 10 Conference honors as a junior and senior and received his bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in sociology in 1993. A native of Baton Rouge, Banta was a Parade All-American as a senior at University High School and helped them to the state championship (1988) while playing tight end and linebacker.

PLAYING CAREER: Southern California, 1989-93; Indianapolis Colts, 1994-99; New York Jets, 2000; Detroit Lions, 2001-03; Buffalo Bills, 2004.

COACHING CAREER: Tennessee-Chattanooga, 2007; Detroit Lions,

2008-13; Washington Redskins, 2014-16; New Orleans Saints, 2017-.

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