After saying that he knows the New York Giants’ much-discussed tackling issues against the San Francisco 49ers set off a “wildfire” of criticism, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale on Friday issued a challenge.
“Come out Monday night. Chart them,” Martindale said, promising that he expected to see a better performance against the Seattle Seahawks.
Martindale said that tackling is a “mindset.”
“What it comes down to is they are professional athletes and they’ve got to have that mindset of taking the right angle, stepping toes on toes, and making tackles,” Martindale said. “Which they have and they are going to do it again.”
Martindale said the inability to stop the 49ers did not come from lack of effort.
“I thought these guys played as hard as I’ve seem them play since I’ve been here,” Martindale said. ”It was a great challenge for us. Had a bunch of guys out there playing their tail off all the way to the end.
“I don’t like where we’re at as far as 1-2. We’ve got to start faster as a defense, but I like where we’re going.”
Martindale said that in 2019 with the Baltimore Ravens the team started 2-2 and “the world was coming to an end” and the Ravens then won 14 in a row.
On the use of Kayvon Thibodeaux
We have talked a lot about the usage of Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is on pass to drop into coverage from his edge defender position 125 times this season. He was in coverage 71 ties a season ago.
Martindale was asked directly on Friday if Thibodeaux needed to rush more and cover less.
“He gets turned loose as many times as we need to turn him loose,” Martindale said. “If you want to just rush four and play coverage the entire game and have me come up here and say ‘this guy didn’t play well and this guy didn’t play well’ that’s not me.
“We are a defense that keeps offenses guessing. We know how to attack protections, and we’re gonna do it the best way we can do it to affect the quarterback. That involves Kayvon, but it involves him sometimes dropping, sometimes rushing.”
Martindale said “I think we’re going to be just fine with Kayvon.”
Martindale said he is “always” looking for more production from Thibodeaux and that he can improve with things like his hand work and finishing to the quarterback.
“There is no panic [with Thibodeaux]. Is there concern? No. I just think he’s a good football player and it’s going to work out. You know, I really do,” Martindale said.
Lack of turnovers
Martindale said “of course” it is a concern that the defense has yet to force a turnover.
“You always want to get the ball turned over,” Martindale said. “Turnovers, interceptions, fumble recoveries, they come in bunches. How they come in bunches is getting back to what I said before in how you affect the quarterback and how you go tackle the running back with pursuit and all 11 guys there. I think they’ll come.”