OWINGS MILLS — Ravens defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale admitted Wednesday that he was disappointed he was not hired by the New York Giants after interviewing to become the franchise’s head coach.
The Giants instead hired Joe Judge, previously the wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator for the New England Patriots, on Tuesday.
“It was a really good experience for me. Am I disappointed about it? Sure,” he conceded. “I think that anytime you interview for something, you obviously have interest in that job. I’m not going to act like I didn’t have interest in the job, but like I said, I felt like I was playing with house money. Look where I’m still standing.”
Martindale stood in the field house of the Under Armour Performance Center, prior to Wednesday’s practice ahead of Baltimore’s meeting with the Tennessee Titans Saturday night. A trip to the AFC Championship game is on the line.
As his name began to get tossed around as a potential candidate for this year’s batch of head coach openings, Martindale repeatedly stressed how much he likes his job leading the Ravens’ defense.
“It’d have to be a job – a one-of-a-kind type job, just not any job,” he said. “I’ve said before, we have the best owner, we have the best head coach, we have the best personnel, and most importantly, we have the best group of players assembled in that locker room to lift each other up. When you prepare to go do something like that for an interview, it’s like you’re playing on house money. It really is, because of how much we love it here. And I also know that you just can’t snap your fingers and create that type of culture that we have here. But it was a great visit.”
Martindale led the NFL’s top-ranked defense in 2018, his first year as coordinator. The Ravens ranked fourth in total defense this season.
He said his interview with Giants co-owner John Mara on Saturday felt like two friends talking while playing a round of golf by the end of it.
“It was a great experience. It wasn’t just a good one, it was a great one,” Martindale said. “They’re good people there. I talked to John Mara. It went really well.”
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman interviewed for the Cleveland Browns’ opening last Thursday.
He did not offer any information when asked how it went.
“I’m focused on the game,” Roman said. “I’m focused on our preparations for the game. Today is a normal Thursday for us, so we’ve got a lot of third down, short-yardage, goal-line work to do.”
The Browns are the only team yet to fill their coaching vacancy. In addition to the Giants deciding on Judge, the Cowboys hired former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, the Panthers brought in Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Washington hired former Carolina coach Ron Rivera. Cleveland has cast a wide net in its search, having spoken to or planning to interview at least seven different candidates.
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