Baltimore Ravens Staff Changes: Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale Fired

Now former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale & the Baltimore Ravens part ways. Come check out our reaction to it!

Former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen of the Ravens’ Flock, we have our first “parting ways” of the season! I know I’m late to the party but this one is a huge shocker to us all. The Baltimore Ravens and coach Harbaugh have parted ways with now-former defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale in a surprising fashion. Even I’m still screaming “what the f**k” here at home, on Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime of our processing of this news, let’s look at some things.

First off, some of the timeline of work within the Ravens staff.

He worked from positional inside linebackers coach (2012-2015) to linebackers coach (2016-2017) to the defensive coordinator( 2018-2022) with the Baltimore Ravens. Beforehand, he was the DC and linebackers coach with the Denver Broncos. And before that, the LB coach with the Raiders and various college-level positions.

Martindale brings swagger with him everywhere he goes His play calling was pretty consistent, and his putting together the defense has been an incredible feat for the past four years as defensive coordinator. As far as his stats go, we’ll get to that soon, but there’s a large set of reasons why much of the Baltimore Ravens fan base would want to keep Wink in house.

Many of us wanted to see his bling or chain come out throughout the season, but unfortunately, we didn’t get many chances to see this happen. Oh well, and it brings us to the next bit of knowledge on now-former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.

The official stats of the defenses he built while in Baltimore

Courtesy of Pro Football Reference, we can see all the percentages and overall grades that gave him official stats. We can see an abundance of head coach boosters to add to his resume during his time.

For time’s sake and reading material, here is a screenshot of the PFR stats.

With all that, statistically, he is a coach who has done well during his time with the Ravens. Like I said before, he’s a coach with much swagger, full of trash talk that can back it up, and a guy defensive players want to be around. This year, the trash talk has been overdone because of all the injuries/illnesses hit by the team, but do we expect any less from the unofficial third Ryan brother? 

The answer to that is no, and I loved every bit of it. 

Now, where does the new Ravens’ Defensive Coordinator search go from here?

At Ravens ATB, we’re already pushing out defensive coordinator candidates’ names internally and externally. I’m not even going to lie here; some are pretty awesome, and some are a little questionable. Nonetheless, here are some of our guys so far.

Internal:

  • Linebackers Coach: Rob Ryan
  • Pass Game Coordinator/Secondary: Chris Hewitt
  • Defensive Backs Coach: D’Aton Lynn
  • Defensive Line: Anthony Weaver

External:

  • Former Vikings HC: Mike Zimmer
  • Former Jacksonville Jaguars DC: Joe Cullen
  • Current That Team Up North (Michigan) DC: Mike MacDonald
  • Former Broncos HC: Vic Fangio

My favorite — or top two guys — to take the job would be coaches D’Aton Lynn or Chris Hewitt out of the current internal staffing options. It isn’t to say that coach Rob Ryan or coach Weaver wouldn’t be good guys to fill the role, because they both have tons of defensive coordinator experience, but we have to look at some other factors.

Two(ish) factors in my pick for coach Lynn are that he was hand-chosen to be the head coach of the college East West Shrine Bowl and would be a “fresh face” in the roll. Those are notable resume boosters in themselves.

Now for external hires

I’m looking at either Mike Zimmer or Mike MacDonald if we’re being sincere. Keep Fangio away from the team cause he might have another feud with our franchise quarterbacks again. Anyways, Zimmer is an experienced guy who knows how to run and build quality defenses at the professional level. Offensively, we know how he handled the Vikings.

On the other hand, Mike MacDonald has been a crucial piece in That Team Up North’s success in this 2021 season. Seeing him do what he did up there was both sickening (coming from an Ohio State household) and incredible (coming from a football and NFL individual fan). If he returned to the professional level and Baltimore, I would be a happy man.

The search for a new Ravens defensive coordinator will be a fun guessing game for our fans, but a stressful period for the organization. 

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