The Ravens announced the decision to promote Don ‘Wink’ Martindale to defensive coordinator. It is a move that came not at all as a surprise, but with immense frustration.
I see why the Ravens chose to make this move. It has been reported that the players like Martindale, and John Harbaugh said at his season ending press conference that he would look for continuity.
The Ravens have also shown to value continuity when hiring. Martindale will be next in line of a string of defensive coordinators hired from within. With Martindale’s promotion, both the offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator will have been promoted internally. Martindale has been the Ravens linebackers coach since 2012, and will most certainly bring continuity.
But is continuity what the Ravens need?
Under Dean Pees, the Ravens defense was unreliable in the biggest spots time after time. Martindale is regarded to be aggressive, as opposed to the exasperatingly conservative Pees. But as the staff will remain the same, how much of a difference will this hire really make?
In keeping continuity, the Ravens have proven that they are ok with being mediocre. If anything, this season should have proved that the Ravens frankly are not good enough, on both sides of the ball. Let’s face it, the Ravens were only close to the playoffs because of an easy second half schedule. The Ravens played DeShone Kizer twice, Matt Moore, Tom Savage and Brett Hundley. Baltimore’s only win over a team that finished with a winning record was the Lions.
This was an offseason where big changes should have been made, as the Ravens needed to find some fresh perspectives to bring to Baltimore. They’ve done none of that. Whether it be retaining Mornhinweg, or promoting internally, nothing is changing in Baltimore.
Baltimore had the chance to hire Chuck Pagano. Yes, Pagano isn’t all that new, as he was once the defensive coordinator in Baltimore, but he would bring a history of success, and would not allow the Ravens defense to be nothing more than what it is now. Pagano was the type of splash hire Baltimore needed, and it failed to do so.
Martindale isn’t even bringing a history of success. Martindale was the defensive coordinator in Denver in 2010, where he was at the helm of an awful defense.
I’ve written this time and time again when it comes to Ravens coaching decisions. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. By hiring internally, the Ravens are doing the same thing, but expecting a different result than what Pees gave them. If the Ravens can’t realize the need to make a change in the coaching staff, then the mediocrity will press on in Baltimore.