Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MU's Madison Is Healthy; Defensive End Dealt with Shoulder Injury for Most of Last Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MU's Madison Is Healthy; Defensive End Dealt with Shoulder Injury for Most of Last Season

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, MO. - There were times last season when Brad Madison's left shoulder would pop out of its socket and find its way back into place on its own. Other times, Madison needed the help of Mizzou trainers to get everything working right.

Finally, in the Independence Bowl, the shoulder couldn't take any more and Madison was done after five plays.

Making it that far as a one-armed defensive end was, at the very least, a tribute to Madison's pain threshold. By his count, the shoulder came out a half dozen times in 2011 but he still was able to make 12 starts.

"It was tough to tackle and tough to do anything with it," Madison said. "It was tough to know you can hardly tackle. Going into a game, mentally it kind of breaks you down a little bit."

Surgery and a lot of rehabilitation returned Madison to full strength, resulting in three sacks in the first two games of 2012. His impact also has returned his name to the top of the depth chart this week as the Tigers prepare to face Arizona State.

"He's healthy, he's back to form," defensive coordinator Dave Steckel said. "But his form's got to get better. Every single guy from me on down has (to get better). ... Brad can get way better."

But he was good enough against Georgia to leapfrog Kony Ealy on the depth chart after Ealy's impressive camp. Madison had entered camp at No. 1 with the hope of regaining the form that made him a second team All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore.

He was curious to discover how physical Georgia's offensive line would be after hearing for so long how much better everything was in the SEC. At least for one game he said the competition was on par with the Big 12.

"They're a good line but nothing we hadn't seen before," Madison said. "Everyone was talking about how it was going to be so much different, but we saw offensive lines like that last season plenty of times, so I think we'll be fine."

Sacks are what made Madison look so promising in 2010. He had 7 that year and 11 tackles for loss, seemingly ready for a breakout. …

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