Unconventional method yields results for Lamar linebackers coach

August 25, 2016

The blue painter’s tape on the Lamar linebackers’ helmets isn’t a fashion statement.

It clashes with the red and white of the Cardinals’ helmets, but linebackers coach Ben Beasley doesn’t care.

Beasley introduced the tape at the start of fall camp as a way to track where linebackers are looking on plays while he reviews video of practice sessions.

“Where linebackers’ eyes are looking is very important,” Beasley said. “The tape keeps our guys accountable and lets them learn from their mistakes.”

Beasley, in his first year as linebackers coach after spending the past two seasons over the defensive backs, leads an important unit in first-year defensive coordinator Trey Haverty’s 4-2-5 defense.

The two starting linebackers - Cameron Hampton and Matt Johnson - have been branded as playmakers in the middle of the defense and will be responsible for covering a significant amount of ground with their feet and eyes.

That means a misstep in vision could lead to a big play against the defense, which Beasley is hoping the tape will help prevent.

“We’ll show the guys where their eyes are and why certain plays developed the way they do,” Beasley said. “I’ve used the tape before and it’s worked, so I’m going to keep doing it.”

The tape has been hailed as a success so far.

Haverty said he saw a notable improvement in the linebackers from the start of fall camp to the first scrimmage. It has grown on Johnson.

The tape won’t be on Lamar’s helmets come game day, but there’s an appreciation for it now.

“At first I wasn’t sure about the tape,” Johnson said. “It’s been really helpful for us, though, so I’m a big fan of it now.”

Equipment updates

The Cardinals will wear their matte black helmets for some games this season, according to director of operations Jeff Breaux.

They tried to wear the black helmets last season against Abilene Christian but couldn’t resolve fitting issues and wound up wearing their white helmets.

Breaux said the addition of the black helmets means Lamar will have eight possible uniforms combinations for this season.

“We’re excited to have the black helmets this season,” Breaux said. “People love uniforms and this give us more options moving forward.”

In addition to the black helmets, Breaux said Lamar purchased 15 Riddell SpeedFlex helmets and eight Schutt helmets for players this season.

Key players like senior running back Kade Harrington and senior quarterback Carson Earp will wear the SpeedFlex helmets.

“We want to give our players top-of-the-line equipment, and this is another step in that,” Breaux said. “We’ll keep purchasing more helmets in the coming years until we’re fully stocked.”

Football banquet

Lamar football’s annual banquet starts 6 p.m. Sunday at the Montagne Center.

Hall of Fame coach Gene Stallings will be the guest speaker.

Individual tickets are on sale for $130 and tables can be purchased at gold, red and white levels.

A 10-seat gold level table is $5,000, and the 10-seat red level tables are $2,500.

There will be a special VIP reception with Stallings for the gold and red table members starting at 5 p.m.

Eight-seat white level tables are $1,000.

For more information contact Angel Dauphine at (409) 880-7157.

DShapiro@BeaumontEnterprise.com Twitter.com/DannyShapiro13