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Transcript: Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale

Eric from BBI : Admin : 8/18/2022 5:57 pm
Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale

August 18, 2022

Martindale: How are we doing, ladies and gentlemen? Getting here towards the end of training camp. I think that we’re getting closer to where we want to be to start the season off. The biggest thing I’ve talked to the defense about is finding a rhythm, and I think we’re getting there. Although, it’s sometimes difficult to see exactly where you’ll be at because of nicks and bruises and everything else that goes with training camp. But I like where we’re at, and we’ve just got to go out there and work at it again today.

Q: Is there a balance for you in practice, between installing and doing all of the blitz kind of things that you want to do and then giving the offense a break and letting them work as well?
A: Yeah, I think that we give the offense – I think that (Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka) Mike’s done a great job with the offense and where they’re at. We haven’t game planned any pressures. We’re just running our different pressures. But I think today would be a good day to watch it because we’re going to do a lot more just front and coverage. It’ll be boring to the guys that really love defense watching it. We need to do that to just work on our fundamentals and techniques. We do it once a year during training camp of the day you’ll see today. So, we’re excited about it. Should be a noisy practice. That’s the biggest thing – the emphasis today is I want us communicating well. It’ll be fun to watch.

Q: You don’t call in sick on this day annually?
A: What’s that?

Q: You don’t call in sick on this day annually?
A: (Laughs) No. Believe it or not, I think sometimes all that the pressure stuff gets hyped up to – it’s a snowball effect. I think that we have an attacking style defense, and I’m not going to apologize for that. But you also play front and coverages like we did.

Q: I think we all expected, I’m sure you did too, with (Cornerback) Adoree’ Jackson on one side that the opponent is going to go after (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson. That seemed to be what the Patriots did. How did he bounce back from that?
A: I think with (Aaron Robinson) A-Rob, first of all, he’s had a tremendous camp. You know, there were some 50/50 balls. The penalty, I mean you can’t have a penalty down there in the red zone. You can’t have lack of communication because that’s just kryptonite to your red zone defense or your two-minute defense in any of those situations. But we preach and harp on that. There were some 50/50 balls that we won, and there’s some 50/50 balls that we lost. Just playing out there on the island, you’ve just got to win more 50/50 balls. You know, I think that – I don’t think it was just Aaron Robinson. They might’ve just wanted to see if that receiver could win. I mean I don’t think it was personally on A-Rob. Now, (Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson) Rome’s been working with his techniques. He’s had a great week of practice. Because if you go out there, especially out there when you’re out there on the island, you lose your technique and fundamentals, this league will find them. And that was a great experience for him in that situation being on the outside.

Q: Was there frustration, obviously I’m going to ask him when I have the opportunity, on the penalty? The taunting? Was that just frustration?
A: No. It’s like I tell our players. (NFL Commissioner) Rodger Goodell is never going to call and say, ‘Hey. Wink’s mad about that call. Let’s stop the game. Let’s really look at that.’ No. It’s you’ve just got to play the next down. Just get the next call in. Play the next down because, you know, we don’t make the rules. We just play by them.

Q: But if he gets off on that play he made, I would imagine you like the technique or what he did to make the play.
A: Oh yeah, the technique.

Q: But if he gets off the field without that, maybe he’s feeling a little bit better about what’s going on?
A: No doubt. No doubt. It’s like anything, they want to tie the corners up with the pressure and everything else. When they talk about our system, and it’s if we would have been in quarters coverage. If we would’ve been in the red zone cover 2. If we would’ve been in cover 3. It’s all the same. It’s going to be the same throw. So, what you have to decide and how we approach the game is like you come away with that game of, ‘Well so-and-so didn’t rush the passer well.’ Whoever that might be. Or they’re getting rid of the ball two point one. The (Patriots Quarterback Bailey Zappe) younger kid got rid of if faster than (Patriots Quarterback Brian) Hoyer. When you pressure a quarterback, you want to change the picture. I always say pressure breaks pipes. You want to make him think fast. You want to hit the quarterback or make him make a quick decision that he doesn’t want to make. So, that’s how we go about games in the best ways that we can attack the quarterback.

Q: For an opposing defense with regard to (Quarterback) Tyrod Taylor, what are some of the things that he brings to the table to make things difficult with his elusiveness and whatnot? I’m assuming you’ve gone up against him.
A: I’ve gone up against him, and I was with him in Baltimore. He’s obviously a very talented guy. And I really respect how he’s gone about his business in being, you know, with his career. He’s a tough one. You can’t just think – he’s not just going to stand back there like a statue. So, you’ve got to work plaster coverage when a quarterback gets out of the pocket, and you’ve got to have some people ready to go try to chase him.

Q: What do you make of the suggestions after the last game that you blitzed a lot for a preseason game?
A: We’re on to Cincinnati. (Laughs)

Q: Is there an unwritten rule there though that you know of?
A: If it’s unwritten, I don’t know. We’re on to Cincinnati. (Laughs)

Q: Is there a way to defend the underthrown pass because the Patriots had a little success with that?
A: The back shoulders are tough because if you saw – if you were out here this past week, you saw that was a thing that ‘Rome was really working on with the corners. But sometimes it’s just a good throw and a good catch, and you just say, ‘Move on.’ Like the one on (Gavin) Heslop, I mean that kid threw the ball for the receiver, he comes out to break, it surprised the receiver. Good throw. Good catch. Let’s move on. Let’s go play defense.

Q: We’re probably not going to talk to you until when the season rolls around. So, next week you guys have that joint practice against the Jets. And you may end up seeing a quarterback that you’re also familiar with, with (Joe) Flacco out there. I’m curious on your thoughts. One, what will you try to accomplish in the joint practice, but also seeing Flacco out there in a different uniform?
A: I think it’s the same thing if it’s a practice with your own team. Just continue to try to find your rhythm. Look to experiment with different matchups. As far as Joe, he’s got the arm strength of the top tier quarterbacks. He can throw the football. But it will be fun seeing him, seeing (Jets Linebacker) C.J. (Mosley). I’m looking forward to that.

Q: I don’t know what the percentage is, but it seems like you’re in that nickel with two down linemen and the four linebackers the vast majority of the time. Is that what you would say your base defense is?
A: No. I mean it becomes your base defense because you play it more because other people play 10 personnel, which is four wides and 11 personnel, which is three wides and a tight end. You play that throughout the year at a higher percentage than your base defense. Then sometimes when you get into the preseason, you’re sitting guys down. I’m told to, you never want to put a guy back in the game after you know, you said, ‘He’s had this many plays. Let’s get him out.’ And that’s (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs work on those numbers that we hit. That was a lot of conversation that I had with Dabs during the New England game was, ‘Okay, this guy, this guy, this guy – let’s get him out.’ Then that just means they’re done with defense. Then they tell (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac, ‘Okay. I’m done on defense.’ Then he might want to see them on something else out there.

Q: Is (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) almost in the same boat at (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) last year coming off the ACL. Are you kind of bringing him along slowly?
A: I wasn’t here with Saquon coming off that, so I’m not sure I can answer that question fairly. I don’t know with that. I know he’s working hard to come back.

Q: We’ve talked about (Linebacker) Darrian Beavers, but we haven’t talked much about the other rookie linebacker.
A: Micah?

Q: Yeah, (Inside Linebacker) Micah McFadden. What are you seeing from him in his development?
A: I was really pleased with the whole linebacker room. I told (Inside Linebackers Coach John Egorugwu) Egs that. Egs did a nice job of getting those guys ready for that game, the way they tackled, the way the pressed the line of scrimmage. And they’re starting the younger linebackers, which is the hardest thing to teach, is they’re using their hands better. Once you get a linebacker who can use his hands, then you’ve got a linebacker. I think they’re both coming along really well and right on schedule.

Q: (Outside Linebacker Azeez) Ojulari started practicing since we last talked to you. You have a smile on your face.
A: It’s good to see him out there.

Q: What have you seen?
A: I think that it’s, I’ll tell you exactly what happened. (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew (Wilkins) works on their footwork every day. It’s their run footwork, which is the most important thing an outside or edge player has to have. He works on it every day. It’s the first thing they do. I was just watching their feet like I’m looking at your guys’ feet right now. I wasn’t even looking up. And I was like, ‘Man that guy has good feet.’ I look up, and it’s him. I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s right. He’s practicing. It’s good.’ We’re really excited about seeing him back. He’s a playmaker. He’s a good football player.

Q: Have you watched any tape of the playoff game that the Titans lost their last game to the Bengals? Have you scouted how they stopped them?
A: Yeah, but not in any depth that I’m ready to talk about with anything. I’ve watched it, yes, in preparation of doing that. But we haven’t put anything together yet because also I watched when we played them the year prior. So, that’s a good football team.
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