Tigers return one starter to defensive line

Missouri returns one starter on the defensive line from the 2008 squad. Jaron Baston, the lone returning starter, will need to step up and lead the defensive line. But he will need some help. Terrell Resonno looks to replace Ziggy hood, while Brian Coulter and Aldon Smith hope to start at defensive end. Go inside this FREE READ to get our thoughts in this defensive notebook.

Missouri returns one starter on the defensive line from the 2008 squad. Jaron Baston, the lone returning starter, will need to step up and lead the defensive line.

But he will need some help. Terrell Resonno looks to replace Ziggy hood, while Brian Coulter and Aldon Smith hope to start at defensive end. So far this spring they seem ready to take on a starting role.

Insidemizzou caught up with defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski to get his thoughts on how the front four have played so far.

"We did ok today. We did some good stuff and we did some bad stuff," Kuligowski said.

As of right now, the defensive line looks to be pretty athletic with ends Brian Coulter and Aldon Smith. But Kuligowski is concerned about getting the players more experience.

"We just need to get some more reps and keep getting better," said Kulgowski.

What does Kuligowski think of the defensive line this year compared to that of last year?

"We can't worry about graduation. We're always looking to be better than last year. When we look at last year's defensive line, we need to think about how we can be better than them."

With the players Missouri has lost on the defensive front, younger guys have had the chance to impress the coaches.

"Guys stepped up in the scrimmage," Kulogowski said. "We have freshman and sophomores stepping up all the time."

The success or struggles of the 2009 Tiger defense will start up front. Inexperienced players will have to step up if Mizzou hopes to field a capable defense. Hopefully Coach Kulogowski has the defensive lineman headed in the right direction.

Notes from Practice

-DE Aldon Smith has looked great so far this spring. He has some athleticism. But what has impressed me most about him is his strength. In one-on-one drills he was able to use a bull rush to get by Elvis Fisher. He also blew by Mike Prince a couple times. I think Smith will be in the offensive backfield quite a bit this fall.

-DT Terrell Resonno has great agility for a big guy. He spun by Kurtis Gregory a couple times in practice.

-Brian Coulter is another really athletic guy. The Tigers should find themselves in opposing backfields a lot this fall. This will really help the pass defense.

-Backup DE Jacquies Smith will provide some depth. He is a monster. Smith will surely be a starter after Coulter graduates, if not sooner.

-Baston's backup, Dominique Hamilton, looked pretty good today. He spun by Austin Webbles in one-on-one drills.

-Out of all the guys who are projected to be starters on the D-line, Baston struggled the most. Tim Barnes had the best of him today as he took Baston to the ground multiple times. Out of four or five battles against Barnes, Baston failed to get by him even once. This should come as good news to Blain Gabbert.

-Redshirt FR DT Jimmy Burge could be a solid player a year or two down the road. He has great size. He had a good day today. He spun by J.T. Beasley and Ryan Schleusner.

-DE Chris Earnhardt doesn't seem as if he will be able to really push Aldon Smith for the starting job. He looked good at times today but he isn't consistent. He may not be strong enough to really be a factor.


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