In spite of many being happy with Patrick Graham at defensive coordinator, the New York Giants are welcoming a new name to the position. They didn’t have a choice in the matter, as Graham chose to leave for the Raiders. However, from the early looks of things it appears the Giants scored a capable replacement in Don “Wink” Martindale.
Martindale is far from an unknown in the NFL. He was the defensive cooridnator of the Ravens from 2018 until this year, and gained a popular reputation with players as well as a reputation around the league for blitzing. It’s not just recent players that will give Martindale a good review, though. According to some who have worked with him, many of his traits date back to much earlier when Martindale was an assistant in various roles.
Martindale has reputation for brutal honesty
“A lot of people want to please Al Davis or your head coach, but [not] Don,” said Jeff Weeks to NJ Advance Media, who worked with Martindale on the Raiders staff at that time. “That’s how he is. You’re going to get the straight truth. Whatever his opinion is, you’re going to get the truth out of him. That’s what’s great.”
“You need that on a staff. You need people not to be a bunch of yes men, especially in this business. If you want someone to sit in a staff meeting and just call somebody out, you won’t have to, because if it’s going on, Don Martindale will call them out,” Weeks continued. “He’s just brutally honest.”
That trait is especially good for the Giants right now, given the organization’s reputation for higher-ups pushing decisions on the front office and coaching staff.
That’s a reputation the Giants are, apparently, trying to move away from. They made outside hires, after all, for the GM and head coaching openings rather than bringing in company men.
To get better, it takes an honest assessment of what’s wrong in the first place. At the defensive coordinator spot, it looks like there is now someone in place who will help with that.
And with a new front office, the chances look much better for the roster to improve based on that feedback.