Giants could target linebacker in 2nd round to fit Wink Martindale’s scheme

leo chenal, giants

The New York Giants entirely reworked their coaching staff this offseason. After firing head coach Joe Judge, Brian Daboll took his place and hired Mike Kafka as offensive coordinator and Don “Wink” Martindale as defensive coordinator. Kafka and Martindale are exciting hirings expected to shift the Giants’ schemes significantly. On the defensive side of the ball, Martindale is a proven coordinator who achieved great success for years with the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants need to build their roster to fit Martindale’s scheme, though, and linebacker prospect Leo Chenal might be a perfect fit in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Leo Chenal is an exciting linebacker prospect out of Wisconsin. Chenal is a premium athlete with a refined pass-rushing skillset. Wink Martindale is known to run a blitz-heavy defensive scheme. Linebackers are frequently sent as extra pass-rushers in Martindale’s scheme. The Giants could target Leo Chenal in the second round of this year’s draft and perfectly fit him into Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme.

What could Leo Chenal bring to the Giants?

The New York Giants are in need of reinforcements on defense. Linebacker is a huge need for the Giants with Blake Martinez coming off of an ACL tear and little talent on the roster behind him. If the Giants are targeting a linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft, Leo Chenal out of Wisconsin makes perfect sense. Chenal is a phenomenal pass-rushing linebacker whose “scheme fit” according to TDN is in a “blitz heavy, aggressive defense with quality coverage options in the secondary.” The scheme described sounds a lot like Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme.

Leo Chenal earned incredibly high grades on Pro Football Focus’s scale. His 92.1 overall grade makes him the highest-graded Power 5 linebacker since 2020. In the 2021 season, Chenal recorded a 91.5 PFF Grade, the highest by a Wisconsin defender since 2014. Leo Chenal totaled 115 tackles in 11 games this past season. He also racked up an insane 18.5 tackles for loss to go along with 8 sacks on the season.

Chenal is a premium athlete at the linebacker position. He recorded a 9.99 relative athletic score (RAS) at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Leo’s score ranked 4 out of 2188 LB from 1987 to 2022. In fact, his athletic score compares very similarly to former Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Keuchly.

Leo Chenal comes in at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds with 31-inch arms and 9.75-inch hands. Comparatively, Luke Keuchly was 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, also possessing 31-inch arms and 9.75-inch hands. Chenal and Keuchly also scored very similarly in the 40-yard dash, 10-yard and 20-yard splits, 3-cone, and the shuttle.

Video Analysis

For further analysis on Leo Chenal and the way he fits into the New York Giants’ defensive scheme, check out the episode of Fireside Giants below!

Giants hiring blitzing maestro Don “Wink” Martindale as team’s new defensive coordinator

wink martindale, ravens, giants

The New York Giants have hired their next defensive coordinator, Don “Wink” Martindale. Brian Daboll’s coaching staff is shaping out with this hiring that will fill his last available coordinator position. Martindale will fill the position left behind by Patrick Graham after Graham left New York for Las Vegas last week.

What does Wink Martindale bring to the table?

Don Martindale runs a fast-paced, high-flying defensive scheme that was tremendously successful in Baltimore. No one blitzes more than Martindale.

Ravens Blitz percentage under Don Martindale:

  • 2018- 1st (39.6%)
  • 2019- 1st (54.9%)
  • 2020 – 1st (44.1%)
  • 2021 – 6th (31.1%)

Martindale is a blitz maestro. His blitz-heavy defenses ranked in the top three in the NFL from 2018-2020. Before an injury-filled 2021 season, the Ravens ranked No. 1 in the NFL in fewest yards (307.8) and points per game (18.2) in Martindale’s first three seasons as DC (2018-20).

Don Martindale has been regarded as one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL during his time in Baltimore. His talent was recognized by the Giants in 2020 when Martindale interviewed for New York’s vacant head coaching position. Ultimately, the job went to Joe Judge, but now, two years later, Wink is joining the Giants’ staff as their next defensive coordinator.

What to expect from Wink’s defensive scheme:

The New York Giants have been running a 3-4 defensive scheme for years now. Patrick Graham utilized a base 3-4 with a variety of unique blitz packages. A blitz-heavy 3-4 defense is exactly what Don Martindale will bring to the Big Apple.

Continuing with a scheme like this will provide at least some continuity for the Giants’ defensive players. But there is a chance that Martindale’s scheme would provide New York with a major upgrade. Not only will the Giants’ pass-rushing improve under Martindale, but their rushing defense should improve, too.

Don Martindale’s rush defense:

The Baltimore Ravens possessed a top-ten run defense in each of the four years that Don Martindale was the team’s defensive coordinator. This past season, the Ravens’ run defense ranked first in the NFL. The Ravens’ banged-up defense allowed only 1,436 yards on the ground in 2021.

For comparison, the New York Giants ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing defense. The Giants allowed 2,193 rushing yards this season. If hired as the next defensive coordinator of the Giants, Don “Wink” Martindale would instantly improve the team’s rush defense while installing an uber-aggressive 3-4 defense that has proven to be greatly successful.

3 reasons the New York Giants should hire “Wink” Martindale to be their new defensive coordinator

Don Martindale

New head coach Brian Daboll and the New York Giants are putting together an impressive coaching staff. Brian Daboll was hired as the next head coach of the Giants this offseason and has already filled two of his three coordinator positions. At offensive coordinator, Mike Kafka takes over. Special teams coordinator, Thomas McGaughey remains. But trouble arose when defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left for Las Vegas. Now, the Giants are searching for Graham’s successor. Among the most exciting candidates is a name familiar to Giants fans: Don “Wink” Martindale.

Don “Wink” Martindale interviewed in person with the New York Giants yesterday, per sources. Giants fans should remember Don Martindale as one of the finalists to land the Giants’ head coaching position the last time it was on the market. In 2020, Joe Judge got the job, but Martindale was interviewed and made it deep in the running. Now, two years later, “Wink” could be in line to join the New York Giants as a defensive coordinator.

Experience coaching a top defense

Don Martindale was recently let go by the Baltimore Ravens after spending 2018-2021 as the team’s defensive coordinator. This move came as a surprise since “Wink” has led Baltimore’s defense to the top of the NFL over the past three seasons. Martindale was with the Ravens from 2012 to 2021, serving as the linebackers coach from 2012-2017.

The Baltimore Ravens defense has been one of the best in the NFL over the last decade. Under Martindale’s leadership as DC, the Ravens ranked in the top-three defenses in the NFL for three of the four seasons. In 2018, 2019, and 2020, Don Martindale’s defenses ranked second, third, and second in the NFL.

An aggressive scheme that matches NYG’s personnel

The New York Giants have been running a 3-4 defensive scheme for years now. Patrick Graham utilized a base 3-4 with a variety of unique blitz packages. A blitz-heavy 3-4 defense is exactly what Don Martindale would bring to the Big Apple.

Continuing with a scheme like this will provide at least some continuity for the Giants’ defensive players. But there is a chance that Martindale’s scheme would provide New York with a major upgrade.

The Ravens had the sixth-highest blitz percentage in 2021 (31.1%). In 2020, Martindale’s Ravens blitzed 44.1% of the time, the highest percentage in the NFL. They also ranked 2nd in the NFL in total defense last season. 2019 was Martindale’s most impressive and most aggressive season as defensive coordinator. That year, the Ravens blitzed a league-high 54.9% of the time and only allowed 15 total touchdowns.

Excellent run defenses

The Baltimore Ravens possessed a top-ten run defense in each of the four years that Don Martindale was the team’s defensive coordinator. This past season, the Ravens’ run defense ranked first in the NFL. The Ravens’ banged-up defense allowed only 1,436 yards on the ground in 2021. Head coach John Harbaugh expressed gratitude to Martindale for the great defenses he ran during his time with the team:

“We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done.” – Ravens HC John Harbaugh on Don Martindale

For comparison, the New York Giants ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing defense. The Giants allowed 2,193 rushing yards this season. If hired as the next defensive coordinator of the Giants, Don “Wink” Martindale would instantly improve the team’s rush defense while installing an uber-aggressive 3-4 defense that has proven to be greatly successful.

New York Giants: Don Martindale’s Choice Of Offensive Coordinator Make Him An Intriguing HC Candidate

Don Martindale

The New York Giants are once again searching for a new head coach after firing Pat Shurmur on “Black Monday.” It was time for a change as the Giants went a pathetic 9-23 under Pat Shurmur. New York has fired two head coaches in four years and needs to make sure they hire the right guy this offseason.

Currently, the Giants’ top two candidates are Matt Rhule and Mike McCarthy. These are two excellent head coaching candidates that are tremendously different from each other. But it is no guarantee that the Giants will;l be able to land one of these candidates. McCarthy had a successful interview with the Dallas Cowboys and Matt Rhule is happy with his job at Baylor.

If these two candidates do not get the Giants’ job there is no reason to panic. Luckily for the Giants, there are numerous solid head coach candidates available this offseason. Don “Wink” Martindale should be the next name on the Giants’ list because of his success in the NFL and his intriguing potential offensive coordinator.

Don “Wink” Martindale

The Baltimore Ravens’ top-tier defense has been led by defensive coordinator Don Martindale. Don, nicknamed “Wink,” has been serving as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator since the 2018 season. In 2018, Martindale’s unit ranked first in the league in total defense yards per game at 292.9 yards. The Ravens followed up an impressive 2018 season with the fourth-ranked defense this season, allowing 300.6 yards per game, forcing the eighth-most turnovers (25), and surrendered just 17.6 points per game, the third-least in the league.

Martindale’s coaching career began in 1986. He has worked as a linebackers coach for the Raiders, Broncos, and Ravens, and has coached the likes of Wesley Woodyard, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, and more. He also served as defensive coordinator of multiple college teams, as well as the Denver Broncos.

“Wink” has found great success in recent years, leading him to head coach consideration this offseason. Martindale has tons of experience as a defensive coach in the NFL, though he has never been a head coach before. However, Martindale seems fully prepared for a head coaching job- he even has his offensive coordinator picked out already.

Joe Brady

There are two Joe’s to know at LSU: Joe Burrow and Joe Brady. Burrow, the 2019 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, has been coached to greatness by Brady, LSU’s passing game coordinator/wide receiver coach. Joe Brady served as an offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints from 2017 to 2018 before being promoted by LSU.

Joe Brady completely overhauled LSU’s offense, implementing a no-huddle spread attack that has helped lead Burrow to a record-breaking year (Sports Illustrated). His fast-paced, modern offense has done wonders for the number-one ranked college football team.

The idea of Don Martindale bringing Joe Brady up to the NFL as an offensive coordinator is highly intriguing. Brady does not have a ton of NFL experience but has proven himself as an excellent play-caller with LSU. Brady and Burrow achieved an incredible 5,208 passing yards and 56 touchdowns this season. With a young franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones, Giants fans should be excited by the possibility of pairing Jones with Joe Brady.