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Michigan football reportedly pursuing literally perfect candidate at defensive coordinator

The trajectory of Michigan football changed significantly over the past three seasons. Part of the reason was the program having elite offensive line and running back play. Another part of the reason was the defensive scheme had so much more complexity.

Former defensive coordinator Don Brown, also known as Dr. Blitz, didn’t have a complex scheme as much as who his blitzer was on any given play was often unpredictable — until it wasn’t.

The Wolverines brought in Mike Macdonald, the former linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens, to run Wink Martindale’s system in Ann Arbor. When Macdonald took over Martindale’s job as defensive coordinator with the Ravens the following year, the maize and blue brought in another Martindale acolyte, Jesse Minter.

Reports indicate Michigan has been pursuing Kansas City Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen for its open DC post because he also worked under Martindale from 2016-20. But Cullen is in high demand, earning interest from the Seahawks and Commanders.

So, who could the Wolverines turn to if Cullen isn’t available? How about Martindale himself?

According to 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz, Michigan football is targeting Martindale, along with Cullen, for the open defensive coordinator position.

It’s been a long while since Martindale was a defensive coordinator in college, but he has that experience. In fact, he was the defensive coordinator for Western Kentucky when former Wolverines assistant Jack Harbaugh was the head coach of the Hilltoppers.

He has, however, been in the NFL since 2004 (similar to Cullen who joined the pro ranks in 2005) and has been the DC of Broncos, Ravens and, most recently, New York Giants.

Again, Michigan has literally been running Martindale’s system the past three years — just cleverly adapted by Macdonald and Minter. If Sherrone Moore somehow lures him to Ann Arbor, it would be beyond a home run hire, no matter how little he may or may not be involved in recruiting.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire