New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale praised defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, dubbing him an “unblockable player” and the “centerpiece” of the team’s defense. Martindale’s commendation comes as no surprise considering Lawerence’s exceptional performance throughout the 2023 season.
Dexter Lawrence has remained humble despite receiving a sizeable contract extension
After being rewarded for his breakout 2022 campaign with a well-deserved four-year, $90 million extension, Lawrence expressed to reporters this week that he has not let the pressure of the substantial contract affect his mindset for this season. Instead, he simply concentrated on staying true to his abilities and being the outstanding player he knows himself to be.
“Honestly you get to thinking, like, ‘OK, I gotta outperform my (contract),” Lawrence said. “But honestly, I just gotta continue to be myself, and whatever happens with me doing that is the end result and I’m happy with that. I know how hard I work, so I’m confident in my work. I know who I am as a player, so I’m confident in that, and all that goes a long way.”
Lawrence is giving the Giants a dominant 2023 campaign
Lawrence’s performance this season proves that he deserves his place in the conversation as one of the best players in the league. In 15 games this season, the 26-year-old amassed 19 quarterback hits, 4.5 sacks, 52 tackles (32 solo), seven tackles for loss, two passes defended and 61 total pressures.
Heading into the final game of the season, Lawrence is ranked as the highest-rated interior defensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus, with an overall grade of 92.8. He is also tied with San Francisco’s Nick Bosa for the second-highest defender overall, trailing behind Cleveland’s Myles Garrett.
Despite being snubbed in fan votes, Lawrence’s talent was recognized by the players and the coaches in the league, earning him his second Pro Bowl selection. Lawrence is now the first Giants defensive lineman to be selected in consecutive seasons since Jason Pierre-Paul. He is also Big Blue’s first interior lineman to be selected to multiple Pro Bowls since tackle Arnie Weinmeister, according to Giants.com.
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DC Wink Martindale describes Lawrence as an “unblockable player”
Martindale expressed his joy for Lawrence’s achievement and emphasized the pivotal role he plays in New York’s defense.
“Dex has stayed Dex since I’ve been here,” Martindale told reporters. “He was a really good player before we got here and then he had a great year last year. He hasn’t changed his work ethic; he hasn’t changed anything about him. I think sometimes he might put too much pressure on himself, but that’s what all the great ones do. Like I said, I’m really happy for Dex.”Wink Martindale told reporters via Giants.com
Martindale also emphasized that Lawrence is not just a cornerstone of the Giants’ defense but also an “unblockable force that opposing teams struggle to contain.
“When you say that any good defense, especially this system, where you can be most effective is when you have a center piece of the defense and he’s definitely been the center piece of the defense for us,” said the defensive coordinator. “And we just got to keep building this thing around him and we’ll see. The sacks are a bonus, out of the nose, you know what I mean? The sacks are a bonus, and he has a way of getting to the quarterback too and I think that’s what makes him so unique. I think when he wants to be he can be an unblockable player. And let’s enjoy watching him play this last time here against Philly.”Wink Martindale via Giants.com