New York Giants defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale loves to make quarterbacks and offensive protection packages uncomfortable. It’s only preseason football, yet Martindale would have made Freddie Mercury and David Bowie proud as he has continued to stay true to his philosophy of applying pressure in a variety of ways.
In preseason Week 1, Martindale blitzed an astonishing 46.3 percent of the time with a Cover-0 blitz rate of 20.3 percent. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was reportedly unhappy with Martindale blitzing so much against his young players.
Martindale was asked about Belichick’s reported contempt and the defensive coordinator quickly quipped, “We’re on to Cincinnati,” an obvious callback to Belichick’s famous press conference in 2014 after New England lost 41-14 against the Kansas City Chiefs to drop to 2-2. The Patriots went 12-4 that season, defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
Preseason etiquette aside, it’s refreshing to see a coordinator do what’s best for his team and practice as he’s going to play when the regular season rolls around.
In his 4 seasons as defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Wink Martindale led the league in blitz percentage three times— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) August 23, 2022
2018: 39.6% (1)
2019: 54.9% (1)
2020: 44.1% (1)
2021: 31.1% (6)
Judging through two preseason games, he's not looking to change his philosophy.
Martindale’s identity is to dictate terms to the offense via blitz, and he uses a variety of different methods to create free rushers and waste offensive blockers. Martindale uses twists, simulated pressures, overload blitzes, Cover-0, Double A-Gap, and more. We will be detailing all of his pressure packages throughout the season. Here is a video of some key plays from the Giants' 25-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.