Darren Rizzi says Jakeem Grant is disappointed in his returns and working hard in offseason

Darren Rizzi will have a punter competition this spring. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE–

Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said Saturday that punt returner Jakeem Grant has been working hard on his own during the offseason and that both he and the Miami Dolphins are eager to see improvement on the punt return abilities of the sixth-round draft pick from 2016.

“Jakeem certainly has the experience behind him,” said Rizzi. “If we were going to play a game today, he would be the guy but we don’t play a game for a long time.

“He was disappointed how last year went. He does believe in his mind that was the Jakeem Grant he wants everybody to see and he’s determined to make a major jump in his game so I’m excited to get him out there.

Here are a few of the other major points made by Rizzi in his media availability.

  • Just because the Dolphins didn’t draft a kicker or sign a free agent at that position does not mean that Andrew Franks is without competition.

“We obviously evaluated a bunch of guys in the offseason,” Rizzi said. “You’re always kind of competing against the rest of the field, regardless of whether you have two kickers or if there’s two kicker somewhere else…Andrew really finished strong. I was really happy with way he finished the season. He obviously made two field goals in the playoff game in really, really tough conditions.”

  • Rizzi said “I have my eye on everybody in this rookie class” as potential special-teams contributors.

He made special note that third-round pick Cordrea Tankersley from LSU has played some special teams before. Also pointed out that Ohio State assistant coach Greg Schiano has talked to him about the possibilities with second-round pick Raekwon McMillan, the Buckeyes’ former defensive captain.

  • Rizzi said wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who returned 16 punts last year, continues to be an option in that role.

“He wants to do it,” Rizzi said. “He loves doing it. He’s passionate about it.”

Rizzi pointed out, however, that there were several times when Landry was back for a return in situations where he probably wasn’t going to be returning it but instead would be utilizing good instincts on whether to fair-catch a ball inside the 20 or let it into the end zone.

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