Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale
Martindale: What a great opportunity it was for us to fly across the pond and represent this iconic organization to go play in that game against a great team and a great quarterback, which I told you the week prior. Really happy with our resiliency as a defense, our effort. There were a lot of guys who made a lot of big plays in the game, and I was just really happy for them and love the result at the end. With that, I'll open it up to questions.
Q: This is a game obviously against your former team. Is this a game you've had circled for a long time or feel any different than normal?
A: It's different just for this reason, I have a lot of friends on that other sideline. A lot of people that have meant a lot to me in my life. But whenever someone asks me about the Ravens, I always think about (Ravens Defensive Line Coach) Clarence Brooks, my dear friend. He's the one, and I've used it ever since, who said this game always has been and always will be about the players. That's the truth. So, in that essence, it's game six, but like I said I have a deep love for a lot of people over there. (Ravens Owner) Steve Bisciotti took care of my family for 10 years. Obviously, (Head Coach) John (Harbaugh) and I have coached together. I've coached with his dad, and I've known the family forever, he's like a brother. (Ravens General Manager) Ozzie Newsome was a mentor for me for 10 years over there and we helped build something that they're on their fifteenth year of doing right now. The exciting part about coming here is it's year one. We've just got to stay with the process, where we're going, and how we're going to get there.
Q: With all of those great things you talked about, why aren't you there? It's never been fully explained what happened at the end of last year.
A: I think that it's just one of those things. I always believe that wherever you're at is where you're supposed to be. John and I had conversations way back before they made the announcement of about where we wanted to be and what we wanted to do. I knew there was going to be a lot of movement in the NFL, and it has reenergized me to go someplace new and try to build it again. It was like I said, we're family, John and I are. It was nothing negative, it was just time. When I say it was just time, it was just time for both of us.
Q: You dealt with a lot of secondary injuries there and finished last in pass defense. You've dealt with a lot of injuries here this year in your secondary and I think you're number eight in the NFL right now. Why have you been able to be successful against the pass?
A: I think there's a lot of things that you have to handle with just the different things that happen in a game, first of all, but I give credit to (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome Henderson and (Assistant Defense Backs Coach) Mike Treier. Jerome's in charge of the secondary and they've just had guys stepping up and just being ready to play. I think that we've handled the series of events well as a defense. Knock on wood, we haven't given up the big pass yet, the long one. That's what we're trying to do is keep that number low, but we've got a great challenge this week.
Q: Your defense plays with a lot of emotion and a lot of energy. This week, do you try to tone down the emotion because it's the Ravens or do you feed into that?
A: I want this game to be about them. I think Dabs alluded to this earlier. In coaching, we're gypsies anyway. Now I happened to be there for 10 years, which is a long time. I was also in Oakland, and I was also in Denver. For coaches, that's just the way our profession is. Is there a little competitive spirit in you when you go play a team you used to work for? Sure, there is. I'm not going to deny that. Everybody knows that. But as far as circling the game and everything else, this is just the next game. We've had success approaching it that way. We empty the tank on Sunday and we fill it up the rest of the week. I just think that's how you have to approach it. What I tell the players all the time is, 'what I owe you during the game is my composure. That's where I show you my athleticism is keeping my composure, so you're always thinking about the next play'. There's some people telling me that I need to be more animated on the sidelines and you're not going to be animated if you're thinking about the next play, what you're going to call next. It's like when you watch two people playing chess, if a guy makes a great move, he doesn't stand up out of the chair and chest bump somebody because he did it.
Q: When the decision was finally you would be leaving the Ravens knowing that you were probably going to have an opportunity somewhere else, what were your emotions? Were you sad, or were you excited?
A: Happy. Happy and excited. When I left the Ravens?
A: Yeah, I was happy and excited about the next chapter.
Q: There was no sadness for you?
A: No, I mean you're going to miss people. You miss people, you grow close to people. It's like my wife and I are originally from Ohio, our kids were born there, but Maryland's their home because we were there for 10 years. My granddaughter Gigi is still back there. I get FaceTimes now. Got called 'Pop-Pop' for the first time, that's a big thing, guys, in case you don't know.
Q: Was part of it leaving to go somewhere new and help build something? It's no secret you'd want to be a head coach, was part of it allowing your defense, your scheme, and the difference you make to get highlighted more somewhere, where maybe people would notice it?
A: No, I just like to see players have success. I didn't think that deep into it, no. That's a good question. I believe in the scheme that we run; how flexible it is. I've told you it's a positionless defense and it's the players that make it go. It's just been a fun new challenge and it's reenergized me.
Q: What was your relationship like with (Quarterback) Lamar (Jackson)? What have you told your players about that challenge this weekend?
A: Shoutout to Lamar. He gave me a shoutout, so I had to give a shoutout back to him. My relationship with Lamar, I love the guy. I think that it's another great challenge. We went from (Quarterback) Aaron Rodgers, league MVP, to now we're going to Lamar Jackson, league MVP back in '19. I was with him when he did that, and he is an unbelievable player. For anybody that wants to say anything, that he's not, ok. Because he's unbelievable and he's playing at an MVP caliber right now like he was back in '19. It's different sitting in the chair now instead of at practice when you're watching it. It's like I told (Outside Linebacker Coach) Drew Wilkins, all those times we were going against him, and a guy said, 'oh, I got him', because you've got to stay away from the quarterback, 'oh I had him'. We're going to find that out on Sunday, whether or not they got him or not. I know it's different guys, but it's the truth with him because not only could he beat you with his arm, which he's throwing the ball really well, but he can beat you with his legs, his mind, and everything else. He's playing at a high level.
Q: What have you told your guys about the way 'roughing the passer' is being officiated now? How do you teach your guys about not doing full body weight?
A: We don't make the rules, we just play by them. Once again, it gets into one of those situations when there's a call, it doesn't matter what I think about the calls. I don't allow my ego to get that big that I think that this is that and this is that. It just doesn't matter. Like I said, (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell's not going to call and say, 'stop the game. Wink's pissed because of this roughing-the-passer deal'. So, you've just got to try to tackle the way the rule states. Everybody makes mistakes now; those things happen fast. I'm talking about for the officials. You've just got to move on because if you sit there and go nuts for the next three plays, once again, that's three plays you're giving away.
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