Q&A with Jamie Blatnick

Senior defensive end Jamie Blatnick will be a leader on the defensive line for the Cowboys in 2011. Blatnick led the team with 5.5 sacks in 2010 despite missing the season opener.

I hear you've been dabbling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, how is that going and how did you get started in it?

"I like it. I have two older brothers, one of which is a purple belt, and he's a teacher in south Texas My other brother, he's a brown belt out in Long Beach. They've been doing it for a long time so when I go home for Christmas or something like that, they're always tying me up or pinning me. They're about my size so I kinda wanted to try it and hold my own a little better.

"They started teaching me a few things and then I noticed they were doing it up here at the Colvin and I was like, ‘Hey, I think I want in on that.' So I did it last year and most of the time this year but I kinda sprained my back a little bit so it was one of those extra things I don't want to get hurt doing so I haven't been there all summer. I'm hoping to get back in there. It's really good for flexibility and I've learned a few things that might help my pass rush, too."

What belt level have you earned?

"Just standard. I'm bottom line but I've got it down. I think I'm pretty good, I'm just saying."

What has it been like having ESPN around and cameras everywhere for the majority of fall camp?

"Honestly I haven't really noticed it. Sometimes we'll give Weeden some mess, like when he came in the room the other day we all clapped and cheered and stuff. We'll harass him a little; it's good fun. If they want to come watch us, that means we're doing something right."

People have speculated that the defensive line could be a weak spot but it doesn't seem you all have much concern about the defensive line and what you all can do?

"We started this summer really working hard on our plays and techniques. I took (the linemen) off the field and we'd come out here and I'd say, ‘Hey, let's run this play and do this, we have to attack here, we have to take the line of scrimmage.' We've been working on that and it's just really carried over."

Where do you think you've made the biggest strides individually this offseason?

"It's kind of hard to explain but it's like something just clicked between this year and last year. Even when I watch film of myself last year I'm like, ‘Man, what am I doing?' I should have been doing this or I should have been doing that. I think my technique has gotten a lot better and my speed and strength have increased, as well. It's one of those things were you can't really learn it; it just comes from experience. I feel like that's really carrying over."

Two weeks out from the first game, where do you all stand as a defense as far as cohesion and from a comfort level standpoint?

"Everybody is good with everyone. We added some new guys; Alex Elkins has really shown up and has been making a lot of plays for us, we're excited to have him and he's doing well. We're comfortable with everyone we have out there because we all have our heart in it. We're committed."

Defensively, what would you say was accomplished in camp? "We had some big goals on getting our D-line and D-tackles ready to go. They have improved like night and day. If you watch film from the beginning of camp and then watch it now, they're just so much better and I know with more to come next week, they'll be ready to play come the first game."

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