Oct. 2, 2013
By Hayley Asaro, New Orleans VooDoo
NEW ORLEANS – Offensive linemen do not usually get the attention or respect that they deserve. However, New Orleans VooDoo center Lorenzo Breland brings first-hand experience, knowledge and attention to the Murrah High School offensive line.
Breland began his journey at Murrah High School, located in Jackson, MS, as a history and physical education teacher. Although Breland is no longer teaching at Murrah High School, he enters his second year and the offensive line coach for the Murrah Mustangs high school football team.
Returning as the offensive line coach, Breland explained that he had lost a lot of his seniors from last year, but he is confident in his new group of athletes.
“I lost a lot of guys from last year, one of my tackles signed with Southern Miss and besides one starter from last year, I had to build a new offensive line,” explained Breland. “I have four seniors now on the O-line and the guys are really stepping up.”
Breland uses his knowledge of the game and acquired techniques to educate and encourage his team. His style of coaching also reflects his knowledge of the game.
“I’m more of a technician,” said Coach Breland. “High school is more alignment and assignment. It doesn’t change too much for the offense that we run. I try to keep our technique on point and my line fundamentally sound. I am also able to relate some of the techniques I have learned in Arena Football and transition them to the outdoor game.”
Murrah High offensive coordinator Marcus Rogers explained that Coach Breland has a great relationship with the kids and his experience being on the field himself is what sets him apart from other coaches.
“He is very football savvy and we as coaches appreciate his knowledge of football and his experience of the game on and off the field,” said Coach Rogers. “With Coach Breland being in the game himself, he brings a sense of relatability to the team. The kids respect his credibility and he is a true role model to them.”
Although football may seem like most important thing in the eyes of these young athletes, Coach Breland drives his athletes to be the best they can be in all aspects of life.
“My advice to these kids is to always have fun and just play the game,” said Breland. “I also emphasize academics and having a plan for life. Those two things will take these kids the furthest in life.”
After winning their first divisional game of the season last Friday night against Greenville High (33-13), the Mustangs currently hold a record of 3-3.
“We will take it one step at a time this season and focus on one opponent at a time,” said Breland. “We have a good group of guys and their hard work will pay off.”