Giants defense looking to give Wink Martindale a win over ex-team

Once upon a time, the 1985 Bears carried off Buddy Ryan, their defensive coordinator, on their shoulders after destroying the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

The 4-1 Giants are learning how addicting this new feeling is, and they want to win against the Ravens on Sunday for themselves, first and foremost.

You are reading: Giants defense looking to give Wink Martindale a win over ex-team

But know this: the men who play for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale feel about him not unlike the way those Bears did about Buddy Ryan.

It just so happens that Martindale will be facing the team he spent the past 10 blitz-crazed years with as linebackers coach and DC under John Harbaugh before it was mutually decided that he would be an ex-Raven instead of serving as a lame duck this season.

So how neat would it be for the Giants defenders to win this game for Wink?

“It’d be dope, man, to be honest with you,” Jihad Ward told The Post. “One thing I want to do, I want to give it my all, and that’s just every game. But for this game for Wink, we’re gonna give it for all for Wink. We’re gonna give it for all.”

Ward played in 2019 and 2020 in Baltimore under Wink, the most swaggerlicious 59-year-old in the building.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale talks with Giants players during training camp.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale talks with Giants players during training camp.
AP

“He might be old but that MF keeps some nice sneakers,” Ward said, and laughed. “He’s gonna have some nice-ass kicks that you ain’t never seen before, but that’s Wink for you right there. He’s just a laid-back dude just chillin’ … and [has an] ‘I don’t give a f–k mindset.’ And I can relate to that ’cause I definitely don’t give a f–k.”

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Big Black and Blue — no Leonard Williams, no Azeez Ojulari — carried that I-don’t-give-a-F mindset to London against Aaron Rodgers.

“A lot of these guys been through a lot in this organization,” Ward said. “Once you got a group of men that trust the process, and like, ‘Listen, I’m gonna try it out, I’m not going with my past no more, I’m gonna hear him out.’ When Wink and them [former Ravens OLB coach Drew Wilkins, TE coach Andy Bischoff, defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins, ILB coach John Egorugwu] came in here, everybody thought we were just gonna be another strict organization … we do little s–t, like we do a lot of stuff like about life, talk about life in general. Anybody that got any problems, just say it out. It can be on and off the field, it don’t matter. Don’t nobody want to come to work all angry and stuff like that or having a bad day. We talk about life first. It helps our mental, to be honest with you.”

Lamar Jackson is a problem. Tight end Mark Andrews is a problem.

Wink Martindale is a problem.

He knows the Ravens personnel.

“We’ve got several coaches who have been in Baltimore and some players, too,” Daniel Jones said. “Yeah, there’s always stuff you can pick up.”

Said Julian Love: “He knows the people. Just knowing guys’ tendencies and stuff like that and how they operate. So little things that can make a big difference.”

The Giants are ninth in points allowed and 12th in yards per game. Wink has a head coach’s presence.

“He’s real with you,” Love told The Post. “You don’t get any of that fluff, you don’t get any of that lip service that you typically get from coaches. We just reciprocate the love back to him that he shows us, and the honesty he shows us, we are comfortable giving him back as well.”

Wink Martindale
Wink Martindale
Noah K. Murray

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To a man, they light up at the mere mention of Wink’s unique swag.

“He wears his sleeves, has the hat on all the time, the kinda mullet-looking thing. It’s always interesting, but he always has some good shoes on,” Love said with a laugh. “And his golf game swag is pretty good.”

In what way? “Oh he wears some nice kicks, he definitely has Jordans on all the time when he’s golfing,” Love said.

Xavier McKinney: “He’ll come in with the Js on his feet … he’s always wearing his little chain. So it’s cool to see it.”

Adoree Jackson: “He prides himself on who he is.”

None of them are surprised that Wink has not made this week about Wink or revenge.

“Wink hasn’t really said like, ‘Hey, we gotta beat these guys, it’s my old team,’ ” Love said. “He just has treated it like another game. In the past you’d have guys come from another system, they get their ego in the way and they tried to do outside of themselves. Meanwhile, Wink’s very reflective on what it takes to win the game as opposed to why we need to win the game.”

Win it for yourselves.

Win it for Wink, too.

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