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Will Wink Martindale be an NFL head coach in 2023?

We discuss whether an NFL team will hire Giants DC Wink Martindale and which opening fits him best.

Don Wink Martindale on field before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Don “Wink” Martindale is the current defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. While head coach Brian Daboll has received a lot of praise for the season that the Giants have been able to turn around, Martindale has helped their defense take a step forward to keep them in games. At the time of this writing, Martindale is prepping for a divisional matchup in the playoffs against the Philadelphia Eagles, that doesn’t mean teams aren’t already putting out feelers to bring the coordinator in for interviews.

Who is DC Wink Martindale?

Martindale has been a coach in some capacity since 1986. After nearly 20 years in college coaching, he finally made the jump to the NFL when he became the linebackers coach for the then-Oakland Raiders in 2004. He held that position until 2008 before taking the same job with the Denver Broncos in 2009. He was promoted to their defensive coordinator in 2010.

Martindale didn’t coach in 2011 but then joined the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 and served as their linebackers coach until 2017. He was then promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018 and held that position through the 2021 season. In 2022 he was hired by the Giants to his current position as defensive coordinator.

Why would he make a good head coach?

Martindale is a classic candidate for head coach. He has built up a rapport around the league, and outside of 2011, he has been coaching in the NFL since 2004. Martindale has a depth of knowledge and experience that few others being interviewed will have. Plus, his track record of turning around the defense in Baltimore and now with the Giants shows that he can have an impact and quickly turn around whatever situation he steps into.

Which teams are interviewing him?

Indianapolis Colts

On Monday, January 16, the Colts became the first team to inquire about the Giants’ DC. The Colts' future is up in the air as they are competing in a winnable AFC South but haven’t been able to find a head coach that is able to put all the pieces together. They tend to be more defensive-minded, which Martindale would help with.