The New Orleans Advocate is expanding its sports staff, adding a New Orleans Saints beat writer with four years of experience covering the New England Patriots.

Nick Underhill, who covered the Patriots for MassLive.com, will begin reporting on the Saints when they open training camp this week in West Virginia.

“Nick is a promising young sportswriter, and we’re so excited to have him join our team as we continue to improve New Orleans’ daily newspaper,” said Peter Kovacs, The Advocate’s editor.

Underhill is from Erie, Pennsylvania, and worked for his hometown newspaper for a year before he joined the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican and MassLive.com covering the Patriots.

The Republican and MassLive are owned by Advance Publications, the New York-based media company that laid off half the news staff of The Times-Picayune in 2012 as part of a plan to cut home delivery to three days a week. The Republican publishes daily.

The Advocate is among the few newspapers in the United States whose circulation is growing. The newspaper was bought in 2013 by Dathel and John Georges, local business owners who launched an aggressive campaign to expand coverage and circulation throughout south Louisiana, from Lafayette to New Orleans.

Underhill joins Ted Lewis, Ramon Antonio Vargas and Rod Walker on the New Orleans sports staff. Lewis and Vargas formerly worked for The Times-Picayune.