USFL’s Gamblers coaching staff with huge New Orleans flavor
The second iteration of the USFL begins the weekend of April 15-16 with games being played in four cities this season, as compared to all games being played in Birmingham a year ago.
The New Orleans Breakers, who are New Orleans in name only, will once again play its games in Birmingham under the guidance of new head coach John Defilippo, who succeeded Larry Fedora.
The Breakers, who made the playoffs last season, have one familiar name on their coaching staff in Kirk Doll, who served as assistant head coach, linebackers coach and consulted special teams coach at LSU under Nick Saban in 2002 and 2003. The Tigers won the national championship in the 2003 season. Doll returns for his second season on the Breakers staff, coaching special teams and running backs.
The one player presently listed on the Breakers roster with Louisiana ties in wide receiver Marquis McClain of Southern.
The USFL will also have teams based in Memphis, Canton and Detroit.
One of the teams based in Memphis is the Houston Gamblers.
While carrying the banner of Houston, there is a huge New Orleans gumbo flavor associated with the Houston coaching staff.
Former New Orleans Saints top assistant and Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson is the head coach.
The New Orleans native from St. Rose is immensely qualified and is eager to meet the challenge of being a head coach once again.
Former New Orleans Saints safety Brett Maxie is the defensive backs coach.
Former Tulane player, assistant coach and Brother Martin star Garrett Chachere is coaching running backs, wide receivers and will serve as an offensive quality control coach for Johnson.
With extensive experience as an NFL and college assistant coach, Maxie also played 13 seasons in the NFL, including nine with the Saints from 1985-1993 when New Orleans had one of the premier defenses in the league.
Maxie remains one of the most underrated players the Saints have had on defense. He was overshadowed by the enormous presence of “The Dome Patrol,” featuring Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Rickey Jackson and Sam Mills, along with Saints Hall of Fame performers in Pat Swilling and Vaughan Johnson. Saints Hall of Fame inductees Frank Warren, Dave Waymer and Jim Wilks were also prominent members of that vaunted defense of Jim Mora and Steve Sidwell.
Maxie simply did his job, amassing 15 interceptions, five fumble recoveries and three sacks among his 438 tackles for the Saints. He was a sure tackler.
Chachere has extensive college coaching experience, including at Tulane, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls and Northeast Louisiana (now ULM). He is a good teacher of quarterbacks. Chachere was an outstanding quarterback at Brother Martin for Bob Conlin. Chachere led the Crusaders to the state semifinals in 1985.
Eric Price is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Gamblers. Price served as offensive coordinator at Tulane under Johnson.
Kwahn Drake is a Destrehan High and Nicholls graduate who served under Johnson at Tulane as defensive line coach after initially being a graduate assistant.
While the focus will be on the Breakers carrying the New Orleans name, there will be watchful eyes on the New Orleans connection with the Gamblers.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…