Linebacker Blake Martinez
August 26, 2021
Q: How’d you feel like the defense played these last two days. How would you evaluate it?
A: I feel like the first day, we made a lot of mistakes and weren’t good enough. We didn’t come ready to play and didn’t start fast. I think we went back and looked at the film, made the corrections, came out today and played our style of ball. There will still be things to correct, but we felt good today.
Q: Did you catch your breath yet from that one drive? I feel like that was like a 20-play drive.
A: One drive? You mean seven? No, I’m joking (laughs). It was good. It was one of those things, you’re able to be able to play through that regardless of interceptions, sacks, whatever ends up happening, stops. You keep playing through and it allows you to go to into the game and it be that much easier.
Q: (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) talks a lot about your conditioning and all the running and stuff you do, could you tell any of that today on the hottest day of the year?
A: Oh, yeah. 100 percent. I think I go back to even last year when we played our first game, you could just tell the difference. When we go out there, it just feels so much easier being able to play and not have to catch your breath and do those things, and you’re looking on the other side and they’re tired.
Q: Now, what about here, because the Patriots obviously have the same kind of program?
A: Definitely. I think that just makes you even better. You’ve got to keep bringing you’re A-game every single time. There’s no advantage. Everyone has the same heat, same playing field, all of that.
Q: What was it like seeing number 26 (Running Back Saquon Barkley) back out there?
A: Oh, it’s awesome. He’s an amazing player, an amazing leader. Just excited to have him out there. Always want everyone healthy.
Q: Did you get a chance to evaluate how he looked at all?
A: No. I mean, I’m focused on our defensive stuff. I know Saquon’s got his thing and doing what he needs to do. I’m just getting ready to play defense.
Q: Do you guys do more conditioning under Coach Judge than you did in the past?
A: Yeah, definitely. I think his big proponent is making sure we’re conditioned, ready to go and have that advantage against other teams. I think it helps.
Q: Is he as tough on you guys as it appears he is from the outside?
A: No, he just wants excellence. He wants to get rid of bad football and we all want the same thing. We’re all competitors and we love that about him.
Q: You went against Saquon a lot obviously in camp last year when he was 100 percent healthy. You’ve gone against him this year, does he look the same?
A: I mean, I’m just going out there playing. He still obviously has the red jersey and things like that. But yeah, he’s looking great. He’s doing what he needs to do every single day and I’m excited to have him back when he’s ready.
Q: What do you think of that hill at the end of practice?
A: I think it’s great. I think it’s one of those things – you never really get that hamstring work and all those extra components that kind of builds that callous and makes you ready to go when you only have to run on a flat surface.
Q: You were near Saquon on the sideline, what was he like on the sideline?
A: You know, excited. Just like anybody back being out here playing the game you love. It’s cool to see just the excitement across the board. I feel like all of our team loves to be out here, loves to compete and (we’re) building a great culture around that.
Q: You had two weeks of joint practices. As a defense, what do you think the biggest benefit for you guys was to be able to work in this environment?
A: I think just the different components, different climates, different people, different offenses. All these different things that come into play – different schemes, different situations. I think that was the biggest component and then just getting those reps with each other against other guys. I think that’s the biggest thing.
Q: You guys seemed determined to make the rookie quarterback look more like a rookie quarterback today?
A: No, I mean, every single day there’s things to correct. I think we went back in there and knew what we had to do. (We) weren’t all on the same page. We came out here and made sure we were way better than yesterday.