Saturday, December 10, 2022

Giants reportedly hiring ex-Ravens coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale to lead defense

Giants reportedly hiring ex-Ravens coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale to lead defense

The New York Giants are expected to hire former Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale for the same job, according to multiple reports.

Martindale departed Baltimore last month after 10 seasons on coach John Harbaugh’s staff, the last four as defensive coordinator. After former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left for the Las Vegas Raiders last week, Martindale emerged as a favorite to replace him on first-year coach Brian Daboll’s staff.

In Martindale’s first three years as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, the unit ranked in the top 10 in overall efficiency each season, according to Football Outsiders. From 2018 to 2020, the Ravens led the league in scoring average (18.2 points per game allowed) and defense total (307.8 yards per game) and tied for first in defensive touchdowns (12). Under Martindale, the defense is also regularly ranked among the NFL’s most aggressive, blitz-heavy units.

In 2021, however, the Ravens struggled mightily. With their secondary decimated by injury, the Ravens finished 28th overall in defensive DVOA, their lowest ranking since the franchise’s first year in Baltimore. They also had the NFL’s worst pass defense; their 278.9 yards allowed per game were an NFL high and franchise record. The defense especially sagged over the Ravens’ season-ending six-game losing streak, including allowing 575 yards in a blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

On Jan. 21, Harbaugh said he and Martindale, who had one year remaining on his contract in Baltimore, had “agreed to move forward in separate directions.” The Ravens hired former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, a former Ravens assistant coach, as Martindale’s successor a week later.

Martindale will inherit a Giants defense that finished 18th in overall efficiency last season. They’re set to bring back several key contributors in 2022, including defensive end Leonard Williams, cornerback James Bradberry and safety Xavier McKinney.

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