Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard talks health of Badgers defense, frustration of delay between games
Jim Leonhard dealt to the media some dark humor after the Badgers multi-week journey through hell appeared to be ending following the forced cancellation of two conference games due to Covid-19 protocols in an already truncated season.
The former three-time All-American was asked if the Badgers defense would be back at full strength after the team was battered by virus protocols. Leonhard simply promised his squad would put 11 players on the field for every snap, barring a procedure penalty.
#Badgers DC Jim Leonhard asked whether the defense will be at full-strength Saturday. He promises UW will have 11 guys on the field for every defensive snap.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) November 11, 2020
Leonhard, who did not earn a scholarship at Wisconsin until his senior season, this despite being not only being twice named All Big Ten but All American as well as a sophomore and junior, expressed some frustration about what had happened to the program.
Despite no real sickness on the team, the playoff contending Badgers had to sit back and watch other teams potentially usurp their position in the rankings while at the same time flirting with the danger of not completing enough games to even play for the Big Ten title, let alone become eligible for the College Football Playoff.
There was nothing to do but stay focused and push past the frustration, according to Leonhard. The road to victory is travelled on the practice field one drill at a time.
#Badgers DC Jim Leonhard candid about the frustration the coaches and players have dealt with this summer/fall. Says he has told his guys to push through it and focus. Says the excitement has been building this week. He sounds excited.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) November 11, 2020
The Badgers are scheduled to travel Saturday to Ann Arbor to play the unranked 1-2 Michigan Wolverines in an empty Big House. Barring any further complications, the game is scheduled to kick at 6:30 pm.