Ohio State went back to work on Tuesday after a week of spring break. The defensive linemen knew that likely meant a new drill or two was coming their way, courtesy of their position coach, Larry Johnson.

“Really, just out of the box” is how the 65-year-old Johnson describes his penchant for finding new ways to gain an edge.

“He’s an old guy, but he’s always got new ideas,” junior defensive end Nick Bosa said. “He spends so much time thinking about us, and watching film, looking for small ways to get us better.”

Johnson said an idea can come to him in a dream, from which he awakes and dictates the details into the recorder of his phone. Or it can come from observation, like the inspiration to take his players into a sand pit next to the practice fields during preseason camp last year.

He said the idea came to him on “one of those days on the beach. You’re watching your grandkids running down the beach, you see their heels clicking and they’re struggling to stay balanced,” Johnson said. “I go, ‘Wow! Wouldn’t that be a great drill?’ I came back off vacation, that’s the first thing, I put ’em in the sand pit.”

At first, Johnson said, the drill was an experiment. Then they discovered there were things to be learned.

“We videotaped the first one, went back and studied it, and said, ‘OK, here are the coaching points we’ve got to work on,’ ” Johnson said. “We go back … and you can see the corrections. (We told them), ‘Try to pretend you’re running on grass. Forget you’re running on sand, and just go.’ ”

Bosa remembered it well.

“We were doing full-on pass rush drills in the sand,” he said. “I don’t think any other” teams do that.

The players weren’t sure what to make of the drill at first. “And all of a sudden it took off,” Johnson said. “They thought it was crazy, but after they watched it, we just added to it, pass rush in the pit.”

Bosa said he noticed immediate benefits.

“My balance is better from it. That’s the biggest thing,” Bosa said. “When you play so low to the ground, you’re flipping your hips and dipping around. If you can land and keep your feet on sand, then you can keep your feet on turf.”

Bosa added that all of Johnson’s schemes benefit his players’ performance on the field.

“If you ask him (about) the crazy drills we do, he could tell you about each facet of that drill and tell you exactly what that’s going to translate to,” he said.

It’s all about staying fresh, Johnson said, both for him and the players.

“You don’t do this as long as I’ve done it and just say, ‘Let’s keep doing the same stuff,’ ” Johnson said. “You can’t, not with the level of players we’re getting. So I always challenge myself to make sure I find ways to enhance it.”

Like the sand drill — he intends to take it to another level soon.

“We’re going to go in the pit and take our shoes off so they can (work on) balance, which is gonna help,” Johnson said.