New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is known as an aggressive play-caller who relies heavily on the blitz. It’s something we’ve seen throughout training camp and expect to see more of during the season.
During Thursday night’s preseason opener against the New England Patriots, Martindale scaled back his defense considerably. In fact, some of the players even called their exhibition approach “vanilla.”
“It was really vanilla, it was just really basic,” rookie linebacker Darrian Beavers said of the scheme after the game.
But Patriots head coach Bill Belichick saw it differently. In fact, he was quite peeved with Martindale for what he felt was excessive blitzing.
“Well, with what the Giants were doing, there’s a lot of reasons for some of the things that we did just to try to manage the game. So, just leave it at that,” said Belichick, via NESN’s Zach Cox.
Specifically, Belichick said they weren’t able to practice their play-action due in large part to Martindale’s blitzing. But in reality, the Giants went rather soft on the Pats.
Blitzes Patriots QBs faced in Week 1 of the preseason, per @PFF:
2022: 21 https://t.co/YudlF6Qkh0
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 12, 2022
Meanwhile, Giants head coach Brian Daboll wasn’t nearly as frustrated with the Patriots for blitzing. Instead, he looked at it as a good opportunity for his players to learn.
“They played some man, played a little bit of zone, disguised some, blitzed some,” Daboll told reporters. “So, it was good work for us on offense and I’d say the same thing on defense.”
Belichick is a notorious complainer — even more so in recent years without a super team — but it’s still encouraging to see Martindale frustrating opposing coaches already. The Giants hope that continues throughout the season.