~~ (The FSH article does mention it is difficult to evaluate D line performance independently of the entire front 7.)
One of the dangers of starting an argument that concedes in advance the limits of its usefulness is that it often leads us to conclusions as patently absurd as the one that OSU fielded the 96th ranked defensive line in the country last year. A couple things should have been obvious to anyone that watched the Ohio State defense last season. First, it was a unit that lacked cohesion, had limited talent, and was poorly coached. The other thing that should have been evident is that the D-Line was its strongest unit. I agree with the OP that Larry Johnson's role is critical in helping the '14 d-line reach its potential, but I disagree with the OP's implicit criticism of the talent that LJ has at his disposal. Bennett, Washington, Spence, and Bosa have all shown superior individual talent on the field. This season they all come back, stronger and more experienced. I do in fact have very high expectations that the unit will demonstrate that it deserves to be considered not just the top unit in the B1G, but an elite unit nationally.