The New York Giants added several new faces to their defense in the offseason, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez among the most notable. New York and Martinez agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal in free agency.
Martinez, 26, finished with 155 combined tackles, three sacks, and one interception last season. For his career, the Stanford product has totaled 512 combined tackles, 10 sacks, and three interceptions.
The Giants are learning a new defense under first-year head coach Joe Judge, which will be administered by new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. They’ve been doing as such virtually this offseason due to COVID-19 restrictions.
How Blake Martinez intends to help the New York Giants:
Regarding his new Giants teammates, Martinez said on Thursday he wants to “make it seem like we’ve been friends for the last six months” at training camp (quotes are courtesy of tweets by Giants.com’s Dan Salomone).
Martinez has familiarity with Graham as the latter was the Packers inside linebackers coach and run game coordinator in 2018. Martinez has said that Graham is “one of the smartest coaches” he has ever been around (quotes per Giants.com’s Michael Eisen).
“He’s probably one of the smartest coaches I’ve ever been around,” Martinez said. “Just his ability to get you ready within four to five days. Every single week my third year when he was my inside linebacker coach, I went into the games on Sunday feeling like I knew exactly what plays were going to happen and exactly what I had to do within our scheme. It just made each game so easy to play. That was the biggest thing I got from him throughout that year and got me so excited to be able to work with him again, obviously, coming up again this season.”
Martinez will spearhead an inside linebacker unit that includes David Mayo, who re-signed with the Giants on a three-year deal in the offseason, second-year player Ryan Connelly and seventh-round draft picks T.J. Brunson and Tae Crowder.
Martinez says he wants to be the “rock” of the Giants defense and thinks the team will be “in a good spot” if they make prudent decisions from a health standpoint.