Don ‘Wink’ Martindale, the Baltimore Ravens’ newest defensive coordinator, held his first press conference on Thursday.
When asked how he can turn this defense into a really great defense, Wink responded first by speaking of their emphasis on turnovers, and how the speed of the defense has helped contribute to the Ravens’ turnover success.
He also acknowledged the quality of the Pro Bowl players on the roster, and how they help with the takeaways, such as Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, and Eric Weddle. He noted that Jimmy Smith was well on his way to a Pro Bowl as well until he had his injury.
Martindale also mentioned how, for the last two years, it’s been the last play that knocked Baltimore from the playoffs. The Antonio Brown touchdown on Christmas day in 2016, and the 4th-and-12 Andy Dalton touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd in week 17 of this past season are what he was referencing.
Wink said that everyone was going to work diligently with their package and situational football. He cited that this was the next step that could skyrocket the defense.
Situational awareness seemed to be the Ravens biggest problem on defense during Dean Pees’ tenure as defensive coordinator. Too many times, the defense would blow a late lead in the fourth quarter due to bad play-calling. Pees liked to use a prevent defense when protecting a lead, and that wasn’t always the right call. Fans criticized him for this year after year.
Hopefully, Martindale understands the importance of protecting the lead, while remaining aggressive. Is he the right man for the job? Only time will tell.