The New York Giants are in danger of losing key members of their coaching staff this offseason. Both offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale have received consideration for several vacant head coaching jobs around the NFL. Kafka already went through two rounds of interviews with the Houston Texans last week. Now, Wink Martindale has also received a second interview with a prospective team. According to Adam Schefter, the Indianapolis Colts are scheduling Giants’ defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to come to Indianapolis this weekend for a second head coaching interview.
Could the Giants be in need of a new defensive coordinator?
Wink Martindale’s first interview with the Indianapolis Colts was conducted virtually. This second interview will afford Martindale the opportunity to make an impression in person. The Colts are casting a wide net in their search for a new head coach.
According to Jordan Schultz of The Score, Colts owner Jim Irsay’s top choice for the team’s head coaching position is Jeff Saturday, who served as the team’s interim head coach during the 2022 regular season. However, Schultz adds that other members of the Colts’ front office prefer different leading candidates, which could include Wink Martindale.
Jeff Saturday reportedly presented his staff choices to the Colts during his second interview with the team. Wink Martindale could be asked to do the same during his second interview. If Martindale were to get the job, he could be bringing a few of the Giants’ assistant coaches along with him to Indianapolis. Outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins could follow Martindale to Indy. Wilkins has worked alongside Martindale for the last ten years, serving as an assistant coach to Martindale during their shared tenure with the Baltimore Ravens.
New York Giants beat writer Art Stapleton proposes one solution if the Giants do end up with a vacant defensive coordinator position: Jerome Henderson and Andre Patterson as co-defensive coordinators. In this scenario, Henderson (Giants’ defensive backs coach) would be the team’s pass defense coordinator and Patterson (Giants’ defensive line coach) would be the team’s run defense coordinator. Both Henderson and Patterson have served in co-coordinator spots previously in their respective careers.
Jerome Henderson was the defensive passing game coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons from 2016 to 2019 and Andre Patterson was the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive line coach, co-defensive coordinator, and assistant head coach in 2021. Both Henderson and Patterson have impressive career resumes and would be strong candidates for the Giants’ defensive coordinator position if it were to become vacant.
Despite having in-house assistants that could fulfill the defensive coordinator position, Wink Martindale would still be a big loss for the Giants. Martindale plays a unique style of defense that cannot be replicated, leading the league in Cover-0 looks at a 9.6% rate in 2022. Under Martindale, the Giants also led the league with a 43.9% blitz rate. Wink Martindale is one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL and the New York Giants will have a difficult time replicating his success if he were to leave this offseason.