Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is obviously busy this time of year. He’s trying to revamp the Cowboys’ defensive philosophy and prepare for a season opener against Mississippi State that is less than two weeks away.
But he did know about former Cowboys Jamie Blatnick (Buffalo Bills) and Ryan Robinson (Oakland Raiders) both scoring defensive touchdowns on fumble recoveries during NFL preseason games last week.
And he was certainly proud.
“I’m just happy for them,” Spencer said. “Everybody knows about the first-rounders (in the NFL Draft), and then you get those guys. They’re just biting and clawing to make that roster. Every day they’re in camp is a blessing to them. They’re just fearing the knock on that door late at night to turn in their playbook.
“I love keeping up with it as much as I can.”
Blatnick went undrafted in 2011 and spent part of last season on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad before signing with Buffalo in April. Robinson signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent this past spring.
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy also expressed excitement for Blatnick, in particular, because of the way he responded after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery following a bar fight in 2010. As punishment, Blatnick spent that fall camp climbing 500 floors via StairMaster each day and was suspended for one game. By the time he left Stillwater, he was an All-Big 12 performer.
“That was a really tough situation, because I felt like he was a good kid and made a bad mistake,” Gundy said. “Being influenced by alcohol, people make bad decisions. He deserved a second chance, but he had to pay a big price to make sure he wanted to do it.
“He is very intelligent. And he is tough. He is a throwback. He is a tough guy and that’s why he has got a chance to make it (in the NFL) because he is smart and he is tough.”