The desire to have fresh legs in the fourth quarter — and in November — has been the reason there has been so much rotation in the Ohio State football program the last few years. Cornerbacks have done it, receivers have done it, and the Buckeye defensive ends have certainly done it as well.
The last two seasons, there were four future-NFL defensive ends rotating for the Ohio State defense. While the future with the current group is somewhat unknown, what is know is that defensive line coach Larry Johnson wants to go with a rotation of four once again.
“We’re going to try to stay with four guys,” he said. “We don’t want to add more plays than we need to have. We don’t want to put 90 plays on Nick [Bosa] all of a sudden. Now he’ll probably play 60-65 probably in a great game, but we’re not going to give him 90-95 plays. We want to still play fresh, and that’s why we were successful.
“If you look at last year, Nick played 42 plays a game and Tyquan [Lewis] played 41. That’s pretty even, to make sure guys were fresh, and I think that’s the reason we were so successful up front because those guys were fresh in the fourth quarter.”
Making Good Use of Camp
Spring practice is an opportunity for the Ohio State football coaches to get their depth charts set in advance of the season. Things can obviously change from May to September, but a working idea of probable starters is a must.
There can be quite the fluctuation throughout spring camp, however, because of the improvements that players can make. It can also be what was needed to turn very good players into great players.
“It’s super helpful. Last year I think I took the biggest jump in my career as a player in spring, so I’m hoping to do that again,” said junior defensive end Nick Bosa. “If I can do that again, then I’ll be really good. I take it as a luxury. You get a day off between each practice so that you can recoup. It’s not as tough as camp, it’s not even close to it.”
For the less-established players, spring is the continuation towards an ultimate goal.
“I feel like spring is a stepping stone from starting off the summer to fall camp,” said junior defensive end Jonathon Cooper. “It’s a starting point just to get back into a football rhythm and try to work your game. Get your technique down, get sound, and get as good as you can before the summer and before fall.”
Everybody Float Now
With Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano no longer having a position to call home, he travels the world inside the WHAC looking to right defensive wrongs.
His new role has essentially turned his football life into a combination of Highway to Heaven, Quantum Leap, and Coach.
Schiano isn’t the only defensive coach who works with other positions, however. For instance, Larry Johnson will work with everyone on pass rushing techniques. How do cornerbacks get better at bringing down the quarterback on a blitz? They work with a guy who specializes in that sort of thing.
Every coach on the Ohio State defensive staff has coordinator experience, and so they bring their knowledge to every player in an effort to make the team better.
“Every practice, every day we’re adjusting and trying to get better at how the group plays and how the defense plays collectively,” said linebackers coach Bill Davis.
“So it’s a group effort as a defensive staff of how we fit with each other and what we do and what drills we work on. Sometimes I’m working with the DBs and sometimes I’m working with the D-line. Defense is about 11 playing as one. It always has been, and it always will be.”
You dont play Bosa the same amount of snaps as the other d-lineman. He has to play more.
He will, if it’s needed. Won’t do it during blowouts.
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