[dropcap]G[/dropcap]lenn Spencer is taking over the reigns of Oklahoma State’s defense, and while he admits that the playbook may stay the same, that doesn’t mean there won’t be change.
Spencer, who has spent the past five years on the Cowboys’ staff, was promoted to co-defensive coordinator alongside Bill Young in 2011, but Young still called the plays.
The defense was gashed several times in the five-loss 2012 season, and Young was let go after the bowl game.
Mike Gundy, who said his defense needed “a spark,” handed over the keys to Spencer.
Even though the schemes will be similar, Spencer knows the person calling them makes a difference.
“It’s gonna be different, because I’m a different guy,” he said. “I plan different. I’m gonna have different answers when we’re getting hurt or trying to stay ahead of those issues.
“It’s naturally going to be a different defense.”
One of those differences – and something that gets to Gundy’s desire for a “spark” – is Spencer’s passion.
From his work with the linebackers to his inspirational posts on Twitter, Spencer coaches with emotion. He hopes that fire will help make a difference in his unit’s play.
“Technique things we stress. Schematic things we stress. Alignments, assignments and landmarks, all those things that great defenses have to do,” he said. “But it all comes down to that, intensity and emotion.
“If you have great intensity and great strain, whenever there’s a breakdown, it’s amazing how somebody will show up to make up for it.”
So far, Gundy likes what he’s sees, but points out that the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
“The organization, the structure, the staff continuity, everything that’s important in getting started has been really good,” he said. “His approach to the players and them buying in has been good.
“Now comes the part that really matters — being productive on the field.”