Todd Denlinger Returns on the DLine

Todd Denlinger Returns on the DLine
Todd Denlinger

Todd Denlinger Returns on the DLine

With Ohio State now cruising on offense with the addition of Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and the return of Chris Wells at the tailback position, much of the Buckeye Nation disapproval has turned to the defense. This week could see an improvement at the defensive tackle position with starting tackle Todd Denlinger returning from injury.

By Steve Patterson

A Couple of Plays

            Denlinger returned to action against Wisconsin but only for a few plays according to Head Coach Jim Tressel. “He only got in a couple or three plays this game, but they were the best couple or three plays he's had in a month, because I think he finally -- the problem with those ankles is, boy, you feel better, then you hit a plateau and you just don't get any better, until you hit a certain point.”

Ankle Injuries

            Ankle injuries are tough to overcome but Coach Tressel feels very optimistic about his availability for the rest of the season. “I think he hit that point where he's on the upward, because he made a couple really good looking plays, the few that he got in there, so knock on wood, I think he's turned the corner.”

DLine Has Had Difficult Situations

            He also feels that the media and fans have been too critical of the defensive line as they have had a lot of different formations to deal with and some very good offensive lineman to battle. “They've had to do a lot of different things, play a lot of positions. They've gone to spread things and we've moved guys inside, outside, so forth and so on. I thought they faced a couple of real good offensive lines in Southern Cal and Wisconsin. I don't know how many of those Wisconsin guys are seniors, but three or four guys that were pretty impressive to me as I watched the film from a technique and physical standpoint and those kind of things.”

But Needs Improvement

            At the same time, the defensive line can improve and they know that they can improve. “So I think they've been solid. I don't know that they've been out of this world and I think they know that, that we've got to get better, we've got to play lower, we've got to play faster, but it's still a team defense and I think it's not like we've had D linemen out of a gap or missed assignments or those kinds of things, but winning comes down to defeating the guy trying to block you and being in your gap and defeating the guy trying to block you and I'm sure we have to get better at that, but it's not been -- I wouldn't grade it down by any means.” Coach Tressel said at his weekly press conference

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