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NFL head-coaching news: Giants’ Wink Martindale to have second interview with Colts

Giants might need a new defensive coordinator

New York Giants v Washington Commanders Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will have a second interview with the Indianapolis Colts for their vacant head-coaching position, per multiple reports on Friday. That interview is scheduled for Saturday, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka also interviewed virtually with the Colts. To this point, he has not been invited to interview a second time.

Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports reported that the Colts are in the process of trimming their list of candidates from more than a dozen to roughly a half-dozen finalists. The 59-year-old Martindale appears to be one of those finalists.

An NFL assistant since 2004, Martindale has long deserved an opportunity to be a head coach.

“It will happen if it’s supposed to happen,” Martindale said back in May when asked about becoming a head coach.

Veteran Giants defensive tackle Justin Ellis also played for Martindale with the Baltimore Ravens.

“He knows how to lead. That’s the biggest thing,” Ellis said of Martindale. “Obviously the players have to put in the work, but Daboll’s doing a great job of leading us. Wink does the same thing. He’s a great leader and I could see him being a successful head coach.”

Giants’ DC options

Who would become defensive coordinator for the Giants if Martindale leaves?

The first thought would be linebackers coach Drew Wilkins, a Martindale protege. Problem is, Wilkins has worked with Martindale for the past 10 years and would seem destined to go with him as Martindale’s defensive coordinator should Martindale become Indianapolis head coach.

Giants defensive line coach Andre Patterson was co-defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings in 2020, but his specialty is working with linemen and he is one of the best in the business in that role.

Giants defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, a former NFL player, is another possibility. He has been with the team for three years and has been coaching in the NFL for 15 years without ever being given an opportunity to coordinate his own defense.

Head coach Brian Daboll and GM Joe Schoen could also look outside for an experienced coordinator. Vic Fangio comes to mind, though he might be ticketed for the Miami Dolphins. Steve Wilks, who lost out on the Carolina Panthers head-coaching job, is also available.