/playoffs/2010/bthl-defensive-secrets

A dream defensive season

More news about: Bethel

By Brian Hunsicker
For D3sports.com

Jason Hofmeyer
Jason Hofmeyer is only one piece of a Bethel defense that held St. Thomas to under 300 yards rushing in their two meetings this season, nearly 100 yards below their average the rest of the year.
Photo by Scott Pierson, d3photography.com

There must be a secret to Bethel’s defensive success. There simply must be. How else to explain a unit that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense — yet has no lineman over 240 pounds? How else to explain the sustained success this season in total defense and scoring defense?

The secret is this: It’s not just one secret.

Instead, the combination of recruiting, coaching, chemistry and execution have come together to give the Royals a dream defensive season, as well as a trip to Mount Union in the national semifinals.

The process of building the Royals’ defense — indeed, it is a process — began years ago when the current crop of upperclassmen was recruited.

Bethel defensive coordinator Jimmy Miller said that his recruiting philosophy isn’t to identify and bring in a certain number of defensive linemen or linebackers or defensive backs. Instead, they’re looking for football players; once they’re enrolled, they’ll find a position. And sometimes long after they’re enrolled, they still might find a new home.

Junior Jason Hofmeyer was a tight end for his first two seasons with Bethel. But he moved to defensive end this season, a move which paid off for the Royals: Hofmeyer, the younger brother of former Bethel player Joey Hofmeyer, has three sacks and 29.5 tackles this season.

“We never dreamt [he would be a standout],” Miller said. “We fell into him.”

It certainly helps if the recruits come blessed with speed; that’s the hallmark of the 2010 Bethel defense. Such a philosophy originated with the University of Miami in the 1990s; more recently, TCU has capitalized on it. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that opposing tackles should expect that if a Royal defensive lineman gets past them, they’ll likely be faster than the quarterback.

“We don’t send fat guys after the quarterback,” Johnson said.

With a lineup coalesced, Miller and his defensive assistants — linebackers coach Mike Fregeau and defensive assistant Rick Meyer — formulate the game plan. The three have been together for most of the decade; Miller has 10 years in as coordinator and Fregeau is in his 12th season as a Bethel assistant. Meyer was an all-MIAC defensive end for the Royals in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a coach there. He left for two years as a defensive coordinator at a nearby high school and is now in his sixth season back at Bethel.

Their overall goal: Stop the opponent’s run game cold. Doing so stymies the opposition and leaves them with a “disconcerting” feeling, Miller said. Just as important is the day-to-day work: Johnson marveled at hearing one of his defensive coaches remark that a particular player was a visual learner.

“He’s not just throwing the lesson plan down,” Johnson said. “He knows his guys well enough to understand how they learn.”

The familiarity of working with each other, and with the Royals’ defensive schemes and philosophy, has also been a key component of the defense’s success.

Another component: This year’s group has been particularly tight-knit. Miller couldn’t remember an instance of any of his players complaining about stats, and Johnson also raved about the unit’s cohesiveness and how they seem to genuinely enjoy being around one another.

For all of that work, though, what matters are the results on the field. And Johnson refers back to the three guiding words of the program: fast, obedient, disciplined. That drills down into individual technique; for instance, Johnson said, when a slant is called, the defensive line knows where it has to go. Just as importantly, each member knows they have to go full throttle to their assignment.

And who can argue with the results? The Royals have earned lofty rankings not just in rush defense but also in total defense (fourth nationally), scoring defense (fourth) and pass efficiency defense (29th of 236).

“We may not have the best players, but every player we have can do what we ask,” Johnson said. “Over time [the players] become confident in the coaches. You don’t worry too much about your 40 time — you become part of the machine.”

By Brian Hunsicker
For D3sports.com

There must be a secret to Bethel’s defensive success. There simply must be. How else to explain a unit that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense — yet has no lineman over 240 pounds? How else to explain the sustained success this season in total defense and scoring defense?

The secret is this: It’s not just one secret.

Instead, the combination of recruiting, coaching, chemistry and execution have come together to give the Royals a dream defensive season, as well as a trip to Mount Union in the national semifinals.

The process of building the Royals’ defense — indeed, it is a process — began years ago when the current crop of upperclassmen was recruited.

Bethel defensive coordinator Jimmy Miller said that his recruiting philosophy isn’t to identify and bring in a certain number of defensive linemen or linebackers or defensive backs. Instead, they’re looking for football players; once they’re enrolled, they’ll find a position. And sometimes long after they’re enrolled, they still might find a new home.

Junior Jason Hofmeyer was a tight end for his first two seasons with Bethel. But he moved to defensive end this season, a move which paid off for the Royals: Hofmeyer, the younger brother of former Bethel player Joey Hofmeyer, has three sacks and 29.5 tackles this season.

“We never dreamt [he would be a standout],” Miller said. “We fell into him.”

It certainly helps if the recruits come blessed with speed; that’s the hallmark of the 2010 Bethel defense. Such a philosophy originated with the University of Miami in the 1990s; more recently, TCU has capitalized on it. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that opposing tackles should expect that if a Royal defensive lineman gets past them, they’ll likely be faster than the quarterback.

“We don’t send fat guys after the quarterback,” Johnson said.

With a lineup coalesced, Miller and his defensive assistants — linebackers coach Mike Fregeau and defensive assistant Rick Meyer — formulate the gameplan. The three have been together for most of the decade; Miller has 10 years in as coordinator and Fregeau is in his 12th season as a Bethel assistant. Meyer was an all-MIAC defensive end for the Royals in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a coach there. He left for two years as a defensive coordinator at a nearby high school and is now in his sixth season back at Bethel.

Their overall goal: Stop the opponent’s run game cold. Doing so stymies the opposition and leaves them with a “disconcerting” feeling, Miller said. Just as important is the day-to-day work: Johnson marveled at hearing one of his defensive coaches remark that a particular player was a visual learner.

“He’s not just throwing the lesson plan down,” Johnson said. “He knows his guys well enough to understand how they learn.”

The familiarity of working with each other, and with the Royals’ defensive schemes and philosophy, has also been a key component of the defense’s success.

Another component: This year’s group has been particularly tight-knit. Miller couldn’t remember an instance of any of his players complaining about stats, and Johnson also raved about the unit’s cohesiveness and how they seem to genuinely enjoy being around one another.

 

By Brian Hunsicker
For D3sports.com

There must be a secret to Bethel’s defensive success. There simply must be. How else to explain a unit that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense — yet has no lineman over 240 pounds? How else to explain the sustained success this season in total defense and scoring defense?

The secret is this: It’s not just one secret.

Instead, the combination of recruiting, coaching, chemistry and execution have come together to give the Royals a dream defensive season, as well as a trip to Mount Union in the national semifinals.

The process of building the Royals’ defense — indeed, it is a process — began years ago when the current crop of upperclassmen was recruited.

Bethel defensive coordinator Jimmy Miller said that his recruiting philosophy isn’t to identify and bring in a certain number of defensive linemen or linebackers or defensive backs. Instead, they’re looking for football players; once they’re enrolled, they’ll find a position. And sometimes long after they’re enrolled, they still might find a new home.

Junior Jason Hofmeyer was a tight end for his first two seasons with Bethel. But he moved to defensive end this season, a move which paid off for the Royals: Hofmeyer, the younger brother of former Bethel player Joey Hofmeyer, has three sacks and 29.5 tackles this season.

“We never dreamt [he would be a standout],” Miller said. “We fell into him.”

It certainly helps if the recruits come blessed with speed; that’s the hallmark of the 2010 Bethel defense. Such a philosophy originated with the University of Miami in the 1990s; more recently, TCU has capitalized on it. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that opposing tackles should expect that if a Royal defensive lineman gets past them, they’ll likely be faster than the quarterback.

“We don’t send fat guys after the quarterback,” Johnson said.

With a lineup coalesced, Miller and his defensive assistants — linebackers coach Mike Fregeau and defensive assistant Rick Meyer — formulate the gameplan. The three have been together for most of the decade; Miller has 10 years in as coordinator and Fregeau is in his 12th season as a Bethel assistant. Meyer was an all-MIAC defensive end for the Royals in 2000 and 2001 before becoming a coach there. He left for two years as a defensive coordinator at a nearby high school and is now in his sixth season back at Bethel.

Their overall goal: Stop the opponent’s run game cold. Doing so stymies the opposition and leaves them with a “disconcerting” feeling, Miller said. Just as important is the day-to-day work: Johnson marveled at hearing one of his defensive coaches remark that a particular player was a visual learner.

“He’s not just throwing the lesson plan down,” Johnson said. “He knows his guys well enough to understand how they learn.”

The familiarity of working with each other, and with the Royals’ defensive schemes and philosophy, has also been a key component of the defense’s success.

Another component: This year’s group has been particularly tight-knit. Miller couldn’t remember an instance of any of his players complaining about stats, and Johnson also raved about the unit’s cohesiveness and how they seem to genuinely enjoy being around one another.

For all of that work, though, what matters are the results on the field. And Johnson refers back to the three guiding words of the program: fast, obedient, disciplined. That drills down into individual technique; for instance, Johnson said, when a slant is called, the defensive line knows where it has to go. Just as importantly, each member knows they have to go full throttle to their assignment.

And who can argue with the results? The Royals have earned lofty rankings not just in rush defense but also in total defense (fourth nationally), scoring defense (fourth) and pass efficiency defense (29th of 236).

“We may not have the best players, but every player we have can do what we ask,” Johnson said. “Over time [the players] become confident in the coaches. You don’t worry too much about your 40 time — you become part of the machine.”

For all of that work, though, what matters are the results on the field. And Johnson refers back to the three guiding words of the program: fast, obedient, disciplined. That drills down into individual technique; for instance, Johnson said, when a slant is called, the defensive line knows where it has to go. Just as importantly, each member knows they have to go full throttle to their assignment.

And who can argue with the results? The Royals have earned lofty rankings not just in rush defense but also in total defense (fourth nationally), scoring defense (fourth) and pass efficiency defense (29th of 236).

“We may not have the best players, but every player we have can do what we ask,” Johnson said. “Over time [the players] become confident in the coaches. You don’t worry too much about your 40 time — you become part of the machine.”

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
Video Box Score
Final
at Dean 25, Becker 10
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
Box Score
Final
MIT 38, at Catholic 21
Video Box Score
Final
Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
Video Box Score
Final
at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Albright 9, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
Video Box Score
Final
Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Williams 24, at Colby 7
Video Box Score
Final
Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
Video Box Score
Final
Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
Video Box Score
Final
Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
Video Box Score
Final
Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Union 17, at Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 44, at King's 41
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 21, Husson 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
Video
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
Video Box Score
Final
Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
Video Video Box Score
Final - OT
at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
Video Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Eureka 44, Crown 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
Box Score
Final
at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
Video Box Score
Final
Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
Video Box Score
Final
Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Simpson 38, at Coe 33
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Knox 13, Ripon 6
Video Box Score
Final
at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
Video Box Score
Final
Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Springfield 42, WPI 10
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
at Averett 35, Methodist 6
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 28, Centre 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
Final - OT
at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
Box Score Recap
Final
Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
Video Box Score
Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap