LB Blake Martinez
May 27, 2021
Q. What are your expectations for this defense? Do you have a goal of being maybe a top five? Are you looking at some barometers to how you can take another step forward?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I think for us as a defense, we added a lot of new guys obviously every year, whether it's free agency, draft. Just going off of last year, building on that foundation, that culture that instilled in us late in the season as you saw our defense grow. I think we want to keep building on that and showing the new guys how we want it to get done.
Q. Blake, you mentioned a lot of the additions you made. How about losing much Dalvin Tomlinson? How big of a void does that leave and how important was he to the defense?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: Definitely, I love Dalvin. One of my really good friends. Actually, talked to him yesterday. Super excited for him no matter if he was on our team or going to another team. Extremely smart player.
It's going to come down to the guys we have here, getting them up to speed, making sure when they step in, whoever steps in, they're ready to go.
Q. It's early in the process, but what is your first impression of Azeez?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: No, I mean, he's a freaky looking player. Just watching him today, he made some great plays out there in practice, showed some athleticism, things like that.
Once again, it's OTAs, you got to wait till we put the pads on, things like that. So far I have think he's done really well.
Q. What do you think when you see Danny Shelton in front of you? A big looking man right there.
BLAKE MARTINEZ: Oh, yeah. I was joking about that the other day. No wonder he was drafted in the first round. You get three picks in one, just how big he is.
No, it's been awesome. I tell him every single day, I'm glad I have you in front of me. I literally can't see double-teams so there's no way they can get to me.
Q. Does a lot change by switching guys out there? Do you think that's something that can be made up quickly in regards to what they do, getting used to playing off a nose tackle?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: Definitely, I think it's going to take time with me and him once we have pads on, things like that, live reps to get used to each other. Just like when I had Dalvin, Austin, any of the guys last year, it took time. Once we got it down, we were good to go.
Q. How was it seeing Lorenzo Carter out there? How did he look?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: No, it's awesome seeing a guy come back from an injury like that. It's been really cool. Excited for him. I know he's put in a ton of work this off-season getting ready to go. He's just doing his thing out there.
Q. You're one of the team leaders. Two issues: vaccines and the off-season workload. What has the players' conversations with the coaching staff and Judge been like? Do you feel like you've come to a good understanding on both the work you're doing this off-season amid the NFL PA stuff, then being able to return to some normal life with vaccinations?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: No, yeah, I think us as players, we came together, had a statement that we came out with. All the kind of leadership talked to the whole team, came back to Judge. Done a really good job as a collective unit, coaches, players, making sure when we're out there getting our work in, doing things the right way.
Right now it's about getting better with fundamentals, football movements, things like that. It's been really awesome. As things keep changing with COVID and stuff like that, we'll be able to keep adjusting, like you said, get more freedom.
Q. What is your philosophy in OTAs? Do you really think you build a foundation for the year this time of year?
BLAKE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I think right now the big philosophy is just kind of like working on our fundamentals, our footwork, just little things, whether it's position or things like that.
Also during this time, you're able to go out there and make mistakes, learn from your mistakes, get that rust off so when you get into training camp you don't have to remake those 10 mistakes you were going to make if you didn't have this time.