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Don Martindale deserves a fair shot; 2010 Broncos a misnomer

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Don Martindale should not receive such unreasonable criticism before calling a single Baltimore Raven snap. While there is frustration regarding the inside hire, ‘Wink’ isn’t the bad guy.

Many directly point to Wink’s lack of success when he was the defensive coordinator for the 2010 Broncos, but the W/L record is unfair to his effort. Those numbers don’t show you who played for him.

When you hear, “Broncos defense” you think of Von Miller and a pass rush. But Von wasn’t on this team, he was still terrorizing quarterbacks as a member of Texas A&M. On the other side of the field, Elvis Dumervil suffered a season-ending injury during practice in August, meaning the two most notable pass rushers were either in college or injured.

Brian Dawkins, the current Hall of Fame hopeful, was over the age of 35. Father time was quickly catching up, and it showed with Dawkins only playing in 11 games.

Now, turning to the offensive side of the ball: Ravens fans know, more than any other franchise, how good a defense must become to overcompensate for a terrible offense, or even just a bad quarterback. The 2010 Broncos quarterbacks featured Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.

Don Martindale did not have a successful season with the Denver Broncos in 2010, but he certainly didn’t receive a fair shake. He lost Dumervil, his best pass rusher, before the start of the season. His starting safety was a 37-year old, injured, Dawkins. The offense was a Tim Tebow nightmare, and overall, you can’t win with hobbled players. Baltimore knows after watching seasons end due to Jimmy Smith’s injuries, or finding the injured reserve list doubling the practice squad.

Martindale isn’t the worst out there, though right now it feels like it. Throughout his Ravens career(2012), he’s molded multiple UDFA backers into studs. He helped turn Elvis Dumervil into a star with Denver, and once again with the Ravens. Terrell Suggs continues his Hall of Fame play with the help of ‘Wink’. C.J. Mosley and Zachary Orr both earned All-Pro nods under his tutelage. Maybe the magic ends with the linebackers, but saying he isn’t defensive coordinator material because of his bad season with Denver is ignoring facts.