LB Blake Martinez
November 9, 2020
Q: Two things. First, Joe (Judge) told us Patrick (Graham) drew up that play that led to Logan’s (Ryan) interception on Saturday’s walkthrough. From your experience, how rare is it for a coach to draw up a play Saturday and have confidence to use it on Sunday? That seems awfully rare to us.
A: It’s kind of everyone coming together, whether it’s the coaches, the players, Coach Judge in general, to have the approval of it and know that Coach Graham and all the other position coaches are going to make sure they install it and get everyone ready to go, so when it does come game time that we execute. But yeah, it’s definitely a first for me. It was awesome to kind of see something like that go in and obviously be successful.
Q: Just kind of on rivalry, so you guys beat Washington, and obviously, you just got here, but you guys beat Washington five in a row. Philly has beat you guys seven in a row. Dallas has beat you guys eight in a row. I’m sure when you were in Green Bay, you had streaks like that where you guys kind of beat up on the rest of your division. Does that get mental at all? Like when one team is bullying the other team so to speak, like it’s a long streak like that. I’m sure in Green Bay, you guys had streaks like that against Detroit. Does that ever get mental on either side, overconfident for the team that’s winning or lack of confidence for the team that’s losing?
A: I don’t think it’s any of the confidence portion, but it’s definitely something you think about throughout the week, knowing that you can either end that streak or continue the streak type of thing. I think that’s something that goes into it. But for the most part, it’s a week by week basis. Obviously, any team can go out there and win. I think for us, it’s just keeping that improvement going week by week, and going out there and doing what we need to do to get a win on Sunday.
Q: I know this is kind of 2020 Monday morning quarterbacking, but if you’re looking at your season, you guys have lost six games by a total of 28 points. Do you ever look back and say ‘wow, we could have really been in this’ or ‘this is a team that’s emerging’ or what?
A: You go back to those games, I think that’s the tough aspect that you look back and see the small moments where we talk about each week that we hurt ourselves, knowing we could have won those games, especially all the close ones. But it’s something that you also look at and take a positive from it, and know that we’re making those improvements week by week and doing the things necessary to be in games. Now it’s time to start closing those games out and doing what we can do as the season continues.
Q: I’m sure you heard before the season people didn’t have the highest expectations for your defense. By all indications, you’ve exceeded those. Is that something you guys heard and that motivated you at all? I guess how would you describe what the identity of this team’s defense is as you’ve seen it play out for nine games now?
A: You see things, hear things, especially at the start of the season or during training camp and things like that. But it’s always been our kind of mantra that we’re taking that submarine and going under. It’s just us. That’s all we kind of care about, and that’s what we’ve been working on each and every day, whether it’s in practice, in meetings, in games. I think this team is literally just guys going out there, working hard every single day no matter what situation we’re in, improving on everything that we’re being coached on, and we’re just guys that love football. You see it each and every day, no matter who’s in the game, who’s on the practice field. We just love being out there together and we love playing together as a group.
Q: You obviously had a background with Patrick Graham before you got here. What makes him unique as a defensive coordinator? I know we were asking about him making changes the day before the game. It seems like he’s really good at adjustments and stuff like that. What makes him unique as a coordinator from your eyes?
A: You hit on it right there. I think his ability to adjust is one of those things throughout the game, I can’t think of the exact situation but it was a moment where all of a sudden, he comes up to us and he’s like ‘hey, I’m thinking this because we showed this or did these types of things, and I think this is going to mess with them.’ And I’m like ‘oh wow, yeah, that’s actually a great idea.’ I was like ‘you’re really good at this.’ It was one of those moments where you’re trying to see what he’s trying to do and how his brain is working. I think his brain is always working, and that’s what has allowed him to make those adjustments on the fly.
Q: You’re more than halfway through the season. There’s only one team that you’ve beaten, you did it twice, and you’re playing for what looks to be like a share of first place on Sunday. How strange does that feel?
A: It’s definitely strange. But the NFL is crazy. Like I was saying earlier, anyone can beat anyone. Anyone can be in it at any time. You just kind of go with it week by week, make the improvements necessary and see how kind of the dice falls. It’s one of those situations where you see what we’ve been through this whole season, and to know that we still have a shot and we still have the opportunity right in front of us to do what we need to do, it’s an awesome feeling. As a competitor, you love it.
Q: How excited are you to get another crack at the Eagles? That was a pretty tough loss last time.
A: Definitely. Any week, especially a division opponent, you’re extremely pumped up to go into that game. Like you said, how the game ended last time, you kind of want to go out there and kind of get that taste out of your mouth of losing and going out there and finishing this one.
Q: Seven times this year, you’ve had to come in after a game and kind of do your corrections, pick up the pieces after a loss. Twice now you’ve been able to do that after a win. Obviously, it’s more pleasant to do it after a win, but what is the main difference? Is it better, is it easier to improve and see your flaws after a win, and can that help you guys moving forward? Does winning beget more winning so to speak?
A: Yeah, I think it kind of has that momentum shift. Obviously, it makes it easier to hear corrections and things like that. But I think for the most part, that’s the one thing you have to be as a competitor in this league, is a guy that can’t take those moments of ‘oh we won, we’re all good. We’ll just go to the next week.’ But you have to be able to take a seat, see what small, little aspects that you can improve on that also would have allowed the game to be over in the third quarter, be over in the second quarter, and so on and so forth. That’s where this team is different. We go into each week no matter win or loss, we’re making sure we’re improving on whatever aspects that us as individuals messed up, or us as a whole defense messed up.
Q: You’re a young veteran, but you have a lot of guys around you who are kind of going through this for the first time. After a win, do you notice a little more confidence, a little more something from these young guys?
A: Definitely. I think it’s a little more confidence, but overall, I think that’s been the great thing whether it’s a win or a loss, guys slowly seeing what they’re capable of, seeing what they can do after they improve and focus on the fundamentals of the coaching points that the coaches tell us. It’s been kind of an awesome thing to see these young guys stepping up in those moments and making those plays.
Q: How different do you think the Eagles are going to look when you face them this time? There should be a bunch of different players on the field for them.
A: Definitely. I think they’re starting to get healthy across the board. It’s going to be a different dynamic on what guy to focus on, what guy to see out there, certain formations they might add in, obviously, adding certain guys back. But I think overall, for us, it’s just going to be focusing on what we can control for ourselves and getting those improvements.
Q: It really almost sounds like you’re playing a different team the way you say that, at least offensively. I’m not sure if on the flip side it’s the same. But the way you said that, different formations, different plays, different players to focus on, does that almost negate that first meeting against them? Like you have to view it differently?
A: Yeah, I think certain aspects of it. But for the majority of the parts, I think there is going to be some similarities. Just different pieces at those certain scenarios I would say.