Baltimore Ravens fire defensive coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale, source says

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens have actually fired protective planner Don “Wink” Martindale with one year staying on his agreement, a source informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.

This unexpected shake-up represents the very first relocation made by the Ravens given that they lost 6 straight video games to end the season and stopped working to make the playoffs for the very first time given that 2017.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh released a declaration Friday stating he and Martindale “agreed to move forward in separate directions.”

“We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done,” Harbaugh stated in his declaration. “Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities.

“Sometimes the minute comes, and it’s the correct time. I am personally grateful for our relationship and for whatever he has actually carried out in Baltimore.”

There were members in the organization who were caught off guard by the parting of ways with Martindale. The decision came 12 days after the Ravens’ season-ending, 16-13 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and came after Martindale had participated in personnel meetings last week. Martindale also was asked to address the players in the final team meeting a day after the season ended.

The move was announced while the Ravens’ brain trust — Harbaugh, owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Eric DeCosta — was holding its annual organizational summit.

Baltimore ranked No. 25 on defense last season, the first time the Ravens had finished out of the top 10 in Martindale’s four seasons as defensive coordinator. The Ravens also allowed the second-most yards (363.4) in the franchise’s 26-year history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Martindale, 58, had been with the Ravens since their 2012 Super Bowl season and was known for his ultra-aggressive style. The Ravens regularly ranked among the highest-blitzing teams.

This season, the Ravens struggled after losing three of their four starters in the secondary — cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters and safety DeShon Elliott — to season-ending injuries. Baltimore had trouble stopping teams late in games, forcing turnovers and preventing big plays in the passing game.

The Ravens gave up the most completions of 20 or more yards in the NFL (74) and 40 yards or more (16). Baltimore also managed just 34 sacks this season, which ranked 22nd in the league.

This was unlike any season under Martindale, whose defenses ranked No. 1 in 2018, No. 4 in 2019 and No. 7 in 2020. He had been considered a head-coaching candidate, even interviewing for the New York Giants job in 2020.

Martindale was known for his colorful comments during news conferences and for being a players’ coach. During preseason games, Martindale allowed some older players to call the defense in the second half.

The Ravens have actually typically employed from within at protective planner. Internal prospects consist of protective line coach Anthony Weaver and protective pass video game planner Chris Hewitt.

It’s likewise possible the Ravens might revive previous inside linebackers coach Mike Macdonald, who was long thought to be the successor evident to the planner task. Macdonald was the protective planner for the Michigan Wolverines last season.

Another choice is previous Ravens protective line coach Joe Cullen, who was protective planner for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.

The shooting of Martindale comes at a time when Baltimore is dealing with a prospective protective reconstruct. Aside from the pass rush, the Ravens have a variety of locations to resolve on defense this offseason with the group maybe aiming to include 4 brand-new beginners on that side of the ball.

Defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams — who integrated for 1,012 snaps this season — are going into complimentary firm this offseason, and middle linebacker is likewise a location of issue after the group moved previous first-round draft choice Patrick Queen out of that area.

The secondary, on the other hand, requires a playmaking security and a No. 3 cornerback.

This training modification reveals that the last-place Ravens (8-9) are not sticking with the status quo after ending up being the first string in the previous 19 seasons to go from being the No. 1 seed in the conference to stopping working to make the playoffs 6 weeks later on.

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