Linebacker Blake Martinez
August 3, 2021
Q: What was it like to be back at practice?
A: It felt amazing. It’s something you always look forward to. First time back just throwing on pads, getting ready to go, so it felt like actual football when I first came back.
Q: And then at the end there, are you kind of like, maybe I could’ve missed one more and not be a part of that fight?
A: No, it’s part of football, things happen. We’re all brothers out there. You have little fights here and there, but you always come back as a team and finish strong.
Q: You’ve been through those before. So, what’s the locker room like right now. Is the offense and defense friendly right now, or is it like you need a day to cool off after a fight like that?
A: No, 100 percent. I think, as brothers, you fight, and then you’re back to being friends right after. It’s one of those things.
Q: Is that the angriest you’ve seen (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) before?
A: No, I’ve seen different moments here and there, but it’s all being the head guy, and making sure we’re on the right page and doing the things the right way.
Q: Afterwards, what was his message to you guys?
A: Those words mean something different to us. It’s like a different Joe language, so we know what it means, but you guys just hear that. No, it’s one of those things that you take that criticism and bounce back.
Q: What did you think of (Tight End) Evan Engram coming in late on your guy? That’s what sparked it, so what did you think of that?
A: Actually, I didn’t see really anything. Next thing I know, I look back and everyone is on the ground. So yeah, it’s news to me what exactly happened, but it’s one of those things when you have those moments, you have to learn from them because that’s going to hurt you in the game if you do that.
Q: Is your heart in your throat when you see (Quarterback) Daniel Jones is at the bottom of that pile?
A: Oh yeah, he’s one of my buddies, so I always got to try to save him.
Q: But I mean, you know what the quarterback means?
A: No, 100 percent. It’s one of those things, like I said, you lose games for that reason alone. If any guy gets hurt down there, penalties, all those types of things, it’s going to make you lose.
Q: What can you share about your COVID experience?
A: Right now, I’m not really focused on it. It’s one of those things you had to work through, but I’m just happy to be back.
Q: Did you have symptoms? I don’t want to get too personal.
A: It’s just one of those things where I went through the protocol for that 10 days and once they said I was ready to go back from all the doctors and everything, I was ready to go.
Q: (Linebacker) Carter (Coughlin) was saying that during meetings, you were like the voice of God in the background. They would just hear you pop in every now and then.
A: Yeah, I was always. I would hear myself sometimes talk, but half the time it wasn’t working, so I was like talking to myself, so I was about to go insane. I was just yelling into the iPad and nobody was responding back to me. I was like, ‘I hate this!’ But yeah, it was good.
Q: How tough was it for you? I know you wanted to be out there obviously, how tough was it, even if it was only a few practices? I mean, it’s still football.
A: Yeah, it’s something that I love to do. Not being out there with the guys, like, being able to be back, mess with guys, joke around, have fun, call plays, and just be a team. It’s the best part.
Q: How do you feel physically?
A: I feel good. Just like anybody, you come back from that five weeks off, you want to get the rust off, and things like that. So, it’s one of those things just like that.
Q: Has conditioning gone good for you?
A: Yeah, I mean as good as anybody likes conditioning. But yeah, it’s one of those things you can work through, and it makes you better?
Q: Have you gone through any of the vaccination process?
A: Yeah, I’m fully vaccinated.
Q: Before this?
A: Yeah, before everything.
Q: So, it was one of those weird things, right?
A: Exactly, that was my thing.
Q: It’s like what the heck, right?
A: Yeah, just like why is this happening to me? But, hey, it happened, and work through it.
Q: Do you have any idea how it happened?
A: No, it’s one of the things you went through every single aspect. Every person I hung around was fully vaccinated, things like that, and it just happened.
Q: Do you have any young kids, or anything like that?
A: Yeah, I have a daughter.
Q: I presume she’s under vaccination age, right?
A: Yeah, exactly. It was one of those situations. Obviously, it was definitely scary, but we did a rapid fire of making sure everybody tested and came back negative. Once that happened, it kind of calmed back down.
Q: How do you think the league should handle this? Because they have different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated guys, but as you can see, vaccinated people can still get it. So, what do you think of the rules that exist? You’re in the building now, you see how it exists. What’s your feeling on how they set everything up?
A: For me, I’m just going with what the guideline is right now. Based off what they told me was, hey, in ten days, you’ll be able to come back and do those types of things. So far, it’s worked out well and just kind of working through that until things change.
Q: Can you do everything normal?
A: Yeah, so I’ve been working things in.
Q: Do you have to wear a mask?
A: No, I’m good and all that stuff. I’m going through the same protocol as everyone else.
Q: Physically, do you feel back to your old self?
A: Yeah, I feel good. It’s one of those things, like I was saying, getting the rust off, and coming back, and getting out there, getting that movement, wearing full pads for the first time in, you know, six months, and those types of things.