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Giants hiring Wink Martindale as new defensive coordinator

Wink Martindale Giants
Wink Martindale
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are hiring Don ‘Wink’ Martindale as their new defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning.

General manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll — both in their first weeks on the job with the Giants — quickly filled the void that was surprisingly left by Patrick Graham when he opted to join Josh McDaniels’ staff with the Las Vegas Raiders on Friday. 

At least four known names were interviewed for the position in recent days — Sean Desai, Jim Schwartz, and Teryl Austin also spoke with the team.

The 58-year-old Martindale spent the previous four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. Despite leading one of the NFL’s top-ranked defenses over his first three years at the helm, Martindale and the Ravens parted ways after the 2021 season after a dip in production. He spent 10 seasons in total in Baltimore and was the team’s linebackers coach when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

[ALSO READ: Giants to hire Mike Kafka as offensive coordinator]

Schoen and Daboll’s hope is that Martindale will help restore the Giants’ defense to its former glory days.

Big Blue’s defense ranked within the bottom 10 of the NFL in points allowed in six of the previous eight seasons and was unable to cover for an inept offense in 2021. 

Martindale is known to lead an aggressive defense that isn’t afraid to blitz while still possessing a staunch run-stopping unit. The Giants were one of just 11 teams in the NFL to allow more than 2,000 rushing yards in 2021 while only eight teams had fewer than their 34 sacks.

This hire also allows Daboll to put more of his focus on the Giants’ offense — considering Martindale is essentially the head coach of the defense — while working alongside new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, who is just 34 years old and has never held a coaching position this high with an NFL team. 

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