PFF ranks Wink Martindale among NFL’s best defensive coordinators

In the midst of the New York Giants’ surprising success in 2022, it was clear the regime they had in place was different from the previous ones. Because of their successful first season with Big Blue, both coordinators, Mike Kafka and Wink Martindale, warranted interviews for head coaching openings this offseason.

Martindale’s track record along with his success with Big Blue’s defense last year, earned him a spot on Pro Football Focus’ top 10 defensive coordinators.


Martindale may have moved from Baltimore to New York for his defensive coordinator duties, but his aggressive nature and play calling remained intact — and successful. No team in the NFL last year played more Cover 0 or Cover 1 (man coverage) than the Giants. Their coverage and pass-rush units were in sync, yielding 136 pressures and 24 sacks while in man coverage. At 60 years old and with 18 years of NFL experience, Martindale is still dialing it up with the best of them.

Martindale landed just behind Steve Spagnuolo of the Kansas City Chiefs (5) and two spots behind Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (4).

Spagnuolo, of course, won Super Bowl XLII with the Giants before departing for a head coaching job.

Martindale is known for his aggressive play-calling which certainly contributed to the Giants’ success last season.

The defense should improve in 2023 after signing linebacker Bobby Okereke and selecting cornerback Deonte Banks in Round 1 of this year’s draft. The defensive line hopes to stay healthier this season and is set to have more depth following some key free-agent pickups.

Martindale could climb the ranks on this list next offseason unless he departs New York in favor of a head coaching role. That would, of course, mean that Wink’s defense impressed yet again in Year 2.

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