LB Blake Martinez
October 19, 2020
Q: The way coach Judge and coach Graham run their defense as far as guys coming in and out. You’re a guy that never leaves the field, there is a handful of guys that never leave the field. There are a bunch of guys who go in and out, Tae Crowder, guys at cornerback. Is that disconcerting to the defense or you think it helps keep people on their toes? Knowing they can come in at any time, go out at any time.
A: I think it kind of just goes to how coach Graham runs his defense. He’s able to get guys in positions to best suit what they’re best at. I think also for each guy to be on the sideline, they have to make sure they are ready to go at any time. Numerous situations where tempo could happen. They have to run on the field out of nowhere, get the call. It’s one of those things that makes it difficult but also it helps them stay engaged in the game that much more. I think overall it helps them when they do end up going into the game.
Q: It’s more of a collective, isn’t it? Instead of 10 or 12 guys, it’s maybe 15 to 18 guys all have to be ready almost at a moment’s notice.
A: Oh yeah, I think that’s the best part about this team. Every single guy that has come in so far is a guy that you can trust. A guy that you know has put in the work each and every day throughout the week and leading up throughout training camp to help us out when he does get into the game.
Q: How difficult was it getting through yesterday’s game. You seemed to be really hurting, coming out of the game several times. You only end up missing six snaps. How much were you dealing with?
A: I think it was one of those games where you just get little things here and there. They took me out, obviously precautionary, for a concussion situation. Quickly did the test, passed it, was able to come back in. Now today, dealing with typical end game soreness type things.
Q: What was your reaction to finally getting that result, getting that win? How much does it matter or not matter depending on what happens on Thursday?
A: I think every single game is important, especially to win them. It was a great feeling for us, obviously, putting in all the work we put in through the ramp up period, through training camp, the last five weeks leading into this last game. To be able to go out there and do what we knew we were capable of doing, obviously it wasn’t pretty at all. We got the job done. On top of that, it was a division win. We have another one this week and it’s something you can kind of have that momentum going into the Thursday night game.
Q: You obviously don’t come off the field very often. Does it bother you at all, does the snap streak mean anything to you?
A: Not too much. Obviously, you want to be a guy that never misses any downs, any opportunities out there on the field. I remember I think last year we were up a lot in I think the Raiders game and they took us out. It was one of those moments where kind of at that point it was like, we’re good. I don’t have to worry about some crazy long snap streak that certain guys have to deal with.
Q: You’ve been teammates with Kyler for a while now. What have you thought about his play the last two weeks? He’s accounted for probably more touchdowns than anybody on the team the last two games.
A: I knew what type of player he was. When he gets those opportunities to shine, he’s done it throughout the now five years I’ve played with him. He’s been making plays left and right. There’s been moments where he gets super close to certain plays since I’ve known him. Just these last two weeks he’s finished those plays and made huge plays for us throughout the last two weeks.
Q: Is this the highest level you have seen him play at? Has he gone higher and can he go higher?
A: The sky is the limit with that guy. I call him ‘Gumby’. It might not look pretty, it might not look finesse, it might not look whatever you kind of think of as a outside linebacker playing football nowadays, but he gets to the right spot. He’s able to make the plays and he somehow worms his way in there and does what he does.
Q: That’s a nickname that probably will stick now.
A: That’s been my nickname for him the whole time.
Q: Tae Crowder has been playing a lot the last three weeks. He’s a guy that came in here with that Mr. Irrelevant tag. A lot of times those guys don’t make it in the league. I’m curious, what’s it been like behind the scenes watching him work and get to the point where he is now? How cool is it seeing him get that touchdown yesterday?
A: It was an awesome moment. It’s kind of one of those things where it’s like a proud dad moment. Throughout training camp and all that, he was one of those rookies where he doesn’t say much. Just goes to work every single day and once he’s gotten that opportunity, it’s been amazing to see him flourish out there. He just feels so comfortable being able to make calls, make everything simpler even for me out there. It’s cool to see him obviously get that touchdown this last game. I was proud of him.
Q: When you play a Thursday night game after a Sunday game, how much of playing is a simple matter of mind over body? I assume you can’t feel great.
A: I think it’s one of those things where you try to do as much as you possibly can to ramp up your recovery period throughout the three days we have. For the most part, like you said, it’s a mind over matter type thing. You’re going in knowing that you’re going to have some soreness here and there. You know the other team is going through the same thing. It’s just going out there and playing the game at that point.
Q: I’m not sure how much you’ve gotten to watch the Eagles and Carson Wentz yet, but I know you’ve played against them in the past. Carson has been sacked like 25 times this year. I think he leads the league in turnovers. What’s different this year, what hasn’t been going well for them that might have been clicking in years past?
A: I think the one thing you see everywhere is they have been going through a lot of injuries. A lot of kind of moving parts throughout the offense. Overall, I think for him, he’s done an amazing job out there. You watch him on film, he’s still doing the Carson Wentz things that you see non-stop. Obviously, last week almost led the comeback against the Ravens. Little things here and there that I think they’re trying to iron out with the new guys in the game. You can start seeing that they’re getting their groove going. For us, it’s going to be a task that we don’t allow this Thursday to be that game for them.