In a surprising move, New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has resigned from his position after two seasons with the team. This news comes just one day after head coach Brian Daboll fired special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.
Martindale’s resignation seemingly came out of nowhere, as there were no previous indications he would be leaving the Giants. Just a week ago, linebacker Bobby Okereke made a public plea for the team to retain the “legendary” coordinator.
Many now believe Martindale’s resignation likely signals bigger issues behind the scenes in New York. The team took a major step back this season after making the playoffs last year, which already put increased scrutiny on the coordinators and their job security heading into 2024.
Lead Up to Martindale’s Resignation
Wink Martindale was hired as the Giants defensive coordinator in 2022 under previous head coach Joe Judge. After Judge was fired following the 2021 season, Martindale was retained by new coach Brian Daboll for his defensive prowess.
In Martindale’s first season last year, the Giants defense was the strength of the team. They finished top 10 in yards allowed and helped lead the franchise back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Expectations were high entering this past season that New York could repeat their defensive success under Martindale and take another step forward.
Disappointing 2023 Season
Unfortunately, the defense regressed mightily this year as the Giants stumbled to a 6-11 record. The team dropped from 15th to 31st in scoring defense, allowing 26.4 points per game. They also fell to 25th in total yards allowed after ranking top 12 last season.
Rumblings about potential changes to the coaching staff swirled leading up to Daboll’s moves to fire special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson. Martindale was expected to return next season, however, until his abrupt resignation.
The coordinator gave no specific reasons for resigning in his statement, only saying: “After much reflection, I have decided to take this time to step away from coaching in the NFL.” He thanked ownership and told them he “will miss coaching and being around the players every day.”
What Comes Next for Giants
Brian Daboll now faces a tall task of rebuilding parts of his coaching staff. He will have to replace his defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and offensive line coach this offseason.
The first order of business will be finding a new defensive play caller. Some top candidates include:
- Former Broncos DC Ejiro Evero
- Former Colts DC Matt Eberflus
- Packers ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti
|2023 Giants Defensive Ranks
|Total Yards Allowed
It remains to be seen if other Giants assistants will follow Martindale out the door. After a lackluster first season from offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, his status may now also be in question.
One thing is for certain: declining defensive performance under Martindale played a significant role in the coordinator’s resignation. Whoever replaces him will be tasked with turning this unit back into a strength in 2024.
Overall, this is a bad look for the Giants organization. The timing of Martindale’s resignation hints at internal dysfunction, which doesn’t bode well for improvement next season. Giants ownership believed they had the right coaching staff to lead this rebuild when hiring Daboll last year. Now they must go back to the drawing board on defense.
This situation will be one to continue monitoring in the coming weeks. More information is likely to emerge on what prompted Martindale’s abrupt resignation. For now, Giants fans are left shocked and questioning the franchise’s direction overall.
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