The Ohio State football team is about to enter the second year of Greg Schiano’s influence on the defense.

Schiano, though, is quick to point out that the 2017 season actually will be the sixth for an OSU defense whose philosophy is underwritten by head coach Urban Meyer.

“What he always talks about it is, ‘Look, we’re in the framework of a system. If we have something that can make it better, let’s enhance it,’” Schiano said of Meyer’s directive. “We try to find ways every year. We visit with people, we bring people in to visit with, and we do a lot of studies to enhance what we’re doing.”

Schiano, a former head coach of Rutgers and of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, dispelled the notion that his voice will rule, either in spring practices or when the season begins in August.

Co-coordinator Luke Fickell left after last season to become the head coach at Cincinnati, and Meyer has not elevated any other defensive assistant as co-coordinator.

>> Video | Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano talks about the to-do list

Schiano referred to the wealth of a staff that includes secondary coach Kerry Coombs, “one of the (nation’s) elite recruiters, one of the elite coaches;” Larry Johnson, “the best defensive-line coach in the country;” and Bill Davis, a longtime NFL assistant hired to replace Fickell as linebackers coach.

Beyond that, Meyer demands that his staffs never want to be dependent on a “guru.”

“I haven’t been here that long, but it’s always been a four-way conversation that we always come to a consensus,” Schiano said. “I’m not saying we don’t disagree with some things, but if there wasn’t (disagreement), we’d really be in trouble, right?

“You want guys that have strong opinions. But at the end of the day, we always come to what’s best for Ohio State football.”

Schiano said, for example, that he is eager to pick the brain of Davis, who worked for nine NFL teams over 24 years, serving three times as a defensive coordinator.

“Those little ideas we tweak and pull from each other, that’s how you continue to enhance it,” Schiano said.

One aim for the Buckeyes this spring is to further tap a deep pool of talented defensive linemen, led by Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes. Schiano thinks a group of fresh, attacking linemen is the foundation of a dynamic defense, one that both throttles the run and creates turnover opportunities in the passing game.

“How are we going to get them all involved?” Schiano said. “We have to get them on the field in as many different ways as we possibly can.”

Lewis has noticed that approach and endorses it.

“More guys, less reps (in games). Your body doesn’t take as much of a beating,” Lewis said. “It’s a win-win situation.”

Such experimentation is what spring drills afford.

“That’s going to be a challenge. (Are) there new packages we use to get more linemen on the field? Maybe,” Schiano said. “Is there a way we can continue to rotate them the way we have, but even more efficiently? Yes. That’s been one of the things we’ve been investigating.”