HAMMOND – First-year Southeastern Louisiana defensive coordinator Lance Guidry is looking for consistency and steady improvement from his Lion defense as fall camp progresses and the 2019 season nears.
Guidry came to Hammond before spring practice after spending the previous six seasons at in-state and Southland Conference rival McNeese. During his time in Lake Charles, his Cowboy defenses were routinely among the best in the Southland and oftentimes in all of FCS.
Now plying his trade in Hammond, Guidry is pushing his Lion defense during fall camp to get better every day.
“We’re challenging our guys to be tough in all areas – mentally, physically and emotionally,” Guidry said. “We’re not going to always have our best day. On those days went we’re not at our best mentally, physically and emotionally, we still have to do our job.”
Guidry will also foster competition during fall camp. In the coming days, the top 11 players on the defense will wear black jerseys. Each day, those 11 will have to compete to keep the jerseys as the best defensive performers from each practice get to don the black jerseys during the next day.
“If you don’t compete at practice, you’re not going to compete in the game,” Guidry said. “Every day our guys are competing for starting jobs and the right to wear that black jersey. It’s a point of pride for the guys who are wearing them to be able to keep their spot and it motivates the ones not in the starting 11 to elevate their level of play.”
Since setting foot on campus, Guidry has stood out for the fire he brings to his side of the ball.
“I’ve always believed that if a coach expects his players to play with energy and passion, they have to coach the same way and allow the players to feed off that,” Guidry said. “The scheme – whether it’s a 4-2-5, 4-3 or 3-4 – doesn’t matter if you play the game the right way. It’s cliché to say that you play the way you practice, but it’s true. We started establishing the effort we expect during the spring and we’re carrying it over to the fall.”
Guidry has been pleased how the SLU veterans have taken what was learned in the spring and brought it to the opening days of fall camp.
“We’re seeing our older guys playing faster because they’re familiar with the terminology and our defensive scheme,” Guidry said. “For our veterans, this camp is more about working on their technique than about learning where to be and what to do.”
The newcomers have a sharp learning curve, but Guidry is confident the group will be able to come together.
“We’re just trying to get our new guys as many reps as they can to help them become more comfortable,” Guidry said. “With newcomers – especially freshmen – you just have to wait and see how quickly they’re able to pick up what we’re doing.”
With his wealth of success in the Southland Conference, Guidry believes the Lion defense can develop into a potent force.
“This is a good group,” Guidry said. “Throughout camp, we have to ‘stack days’, meaning we have to build on each day’s progress. We want to get one percent better every day and that only comes with great effort. If we consistently compete and give maximum effort, it will carry over to the game.”
Southeastern continues the opening week of practice on Friday at 9 a.m. The Lions open the 2019 campaign at home, hosting Jacksonville State on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. in Strawberry Stadium.
2019 Fall Camp Schedule
Friday, August 2 – 9 a.m.
Saturday, August 3 – 9 a.m.
Sunday, August 4 – 3:30 p.m.
Monday, August 5 – 9 a.m.
Tuesday, August 6 – 9 a.m.
Wednesday, August 7 – 9 a.m.
Thursday, August 8 – 9 a.m.
Friday, August 9 – 9 a.m.
Saturday, August 10 – 9 a.m.
Sunday, August 11 – 3:30 p.m.
Monday, August 12 – 9 a.m.
Tuesday, August 13 – 9 a.m.
Wednesday, August 14 – 9 a.m.
Thursday, August 15 – 9 a.m.
Friday, August 16 – 9 a.m.
Saturday, August 17 – 9 a.m. / 11 a.m. – Season Ticket Party
Sunday, August 18 – 3:30 p.m.
Monday, August 19 – 9 a.m.
Tuesday, August 20 – 9 a.m.
Saturday, August 24 – 1 p.m. – Media Day