Black Monday has come and gone across the NFL, and several organizations are now on the hunt for new general managers and head coaches.
Additional openings are likely in the coming days and weeks, which also means a new crop of potential executives and coaches will draw interest.
One head coaching candidate is New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, whom the Carolina Panthers want to speak with. But will he be the only one? How about the team’s defensive coordinator, Wink Martindale?
Martindale has never been shy about his desire to land a head coaching job and at the age of 59, he knows the clock is ticking.
“I would love the opportunity to run a team,” Martindale told reporters in November. “But everything has to fit just right.”
Many of Martindale’s defensive players have stated publicly that he deserves to land a head coaching job. And while they’d be sad to see Wink go, they know he’s paid his dues and would do an excellent job.
Helping to turn a thin Giants roster into a playoff contender is certainly a feather in the cap for Martindale. So is the team’s red zone defense.
In fact, Martindale has done so well this season that those around the league are beginning to stump for him. That includes NFL analyst Brian Baldinger.
Listening to @BaldyNFL now stumping for #Giants DC Wink Martindale. He’s like Bruce Arians, but for defense. Took a 4-win team with a rebuilding roster and now they’re top 5 in 3rd down and red zone defense and are a playoff defense. One name to watch. https://t.co/domeGqjv99
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2023
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan also believes Martindale should be considered a coaching candidate.
Having seen him coach and deal with players first hand, Giants DC Wink Martindale is a candidate teams should put high on their lists for head coaching vacancies. Players love him. Amazing composure that you can see resonate throughout his unit. Have been thoroughly impressed.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 9, 2023
Thus far, no one has requested an interview with Martindale but that could change in short order. If the Giants’ defense shuts down the high-powered Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round or they go on a run, that will only better his cause.
The league may be trending toward more offensive-minded head coaches, but don’t sleep on Wink.