Pitcock Helps Anchor Defensive Line

Junior defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock could be headed for an All-Big Ten season. He has a very good season as a first year starter in 2004 and much more is expected this year. We caught up with Pitcock recently who gave his thoughts on a wide variety of subjects.

The first thing you notice about Quinn Pitcock is that the long curly hair is gone. Pitcock shaved his head a few weeks ago and looks like he just climbed out of a foxhole. In other words, he looks like a defensive tackle should look.

"A lot of guys cut their hair that I've seen around," Pitcock said. "The DBs and wide receivers did. But Bobby (Carpenter) and A.J. (Hawk) and those guys, they're still trying to grow it out. I know for a while the coaches were wanting guys to trim their hair and try and look a little more clean."

The 6-3 Pitcock is entering his junior season. Last year, he had a tremendous season in his first year as a starter. Not necessarily in terms of statistics (49 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, 2 sacks) but he did play that "Tim Anderson" role nearly to perfection. Pitcock would eat up blockers – he was often double-teamed – freeing up the linebackers and other teammates to make the play.

This offseason, Pitcock just wanted to get stronger. He had never worked out so much in his life.

"I feel like I bulked up and trimmed down at the same time this offseason," Pitcock said. "Right now, I'm about 300 pounds, but I feel slim somewhat. I'm still trying to lose a little weight and get stronger every day. I've been working out with Bobby and A.J. and (Anthony) Schlegel and all them after practice, after two-a-days, just trying to get extra work."

Most players are so tired and sore, they can barely make it back to their dorm room after two-a-days. How does Pitcock have enough energy to get in an extra workout?

"Well, it actually amazes me," he said. "This summer, I would workout, then I would go to class and all that and I was too tired to workout in my room and do a little extra. And I always wondered why.

"But after working and being tired and just getting done practicing, if you go in and workout when you still have a little blood flowing, it was a lot easier. So, it was actually surprising to me that it was easier to workout after having a big workout and I think it's helping me out."

Pitcock plays low and is very quick for a man his size. But he says he is not satisfied with the way he is playing right now in camp.

"My game is definitely playing low," he said. "Probably coming off the summer, I'm playing a little higher and I'm trying to work on it and play lower. I'm more of a run player – stop the run. Pass is always a matter of trying to out-strength someone. That's probably a weakness and now I'm working on that and trying to get it all put together."

Pitcock expects big things from the defensive line this season. He was asked if fans can expect anything different from the D-line this year.

"This year, we're not going to play on our side of the ball," he said. "We're going to definitely start playing on the opposite side and get in the backfield. And with that, if we don't make a play back there, it's going to make the running back cut, quarterback move, and let somebody else make the play. We're not going to sit back and watch anymore. "The problem we're trying to work on is consistency. We'll see it sometimes, but other times we're not getting enough pressure on runs or passes."

Pitcock was asked to analyze what he has seen from OSU's quarterbacks thus far in camp.

"Justin Zwick, he's been a great player, great leader," he said. "He's throwing a great ball. He's getting great protection, which is helping him find open areas.

"Troy Smith, he's a great passer and we've seen him run around a few times getting out of the pocket.

"Todd Boeckman, he has a strong arm. I think he has a great sense for reading coverages and he's going to be a great player here."

"And I can never remember how to pronounce his last name, but Rob (Schoenhoft) he's out there and he has a strong arm. I've seen him throw the ball just like a dart downfield. He's in his first couple weeks, so he's a little jumpy, but I like to see him progress over the years and see what he'll turn out to be."

New defensive coordinator Jim Heacock is not changing much schematically. It's more about the attitude that he's trying to instill.

"He just wants us to play as a unit play as a team. Basically 11 silver bullets," Pitcock said. "That's what we're looking for. We just want to feed off each other and play as a team and swarm to the football. Coach Heacock is really trying to build up that camaraderie as a defense and that's great because it gets everyone on the same page. We're just out there fighting for each other."

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