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. 

The Baltimore Ravens Future Overall Outlook for 2022

Welcome to the Baltimore Ravens’ Future Outlook for 2022. Come take a look on everything & let us know what you think.

Well, it’s been a little over a week since the last Baltimore Ravens ball game. We’re into the heat of the playoffs, and I don’t know about you all, but I wish our Ravens were playing in them. Unfortunately, wishes are not always granted, but we can look towards the future. The Ravens’ future is very bright.

Shawn Hubbard. BaltimoreRavens.com

In the last post-game press conference, Chuck Clark said, “Just watch how we bounce back.” There is nothing more reassuring than hearing that because he’s right. So far, the 2022 season is exciting to look forward to because of so much.

The Baltimore Ravens’ future outlook is one to be excited about

Outside of the obvious, we are finally getting Ravens football back in the spring/summer of 2022 via mini-camps, OTA’s, training camp, etc. There will be the return of the following players from injury:

  • QB Lamar Jackson
  • RB JK Dobbins
  • RB Gus Edwards
  • LT Ronnie Stanley
  • S DeShon Elliott
  • LB LJ Fort
  • CB Marlon Humphrey
  • CB Marcus Peters
  • FB/DL Pat Ricard

And the list goes on and on as far as injured players returning. That’s exciting in itself. Now some of these players are on the free agency market. That’s another topic we can discuss later on — outside of the need to re-sign my guy, center Bradley Bozeman! Extending Bozeman will be an essential key for this offensive line and the offense in general. We cannot break up the bromance of Kevin Zeitler & Bozeman!

Anyways, the Baltimore Ravens’ future, as far as existing personnel goes, is genuinely remarkable nonetheless.

Speaking of personnel, we have to discuss that it’s also draft season! We’ve dove into the draft content a little bit on the newest episode of Around The Flock already but let’s look at the set-in-stone stuff.

The Baltimore Ravens Future Draft Picks include the following.

Ravens media via twitter.
  • 1st Round – No. 14
  • 2nd Round – No. 45
  • 3rd Round – No. 76
  • 3rd Round – Comp pick (David Culley)
  • 4th Round – From New York Giants for Ben Bredeson
  • 4th Round – Normal pick
  • 4th Round – Comp pick (Matthew Judon)
  • 4th Round – Comp pick (Yannick Nqakoue)
  • 4th Round – From Arizona Cardinals in 2021 Draft
  • 6th Round – From Miami Dolphins for Greg Mancz

With a whopping total of 10 draft picks, they’ll be looking to bolster the depth chart with many young quality guys. I’m hoping they do a nice mix of positional needs, but we know the team places the best player available guys first. We’ve been taking mock drafts for the Ravens seriously around here. The Ravens’ future is looking so good here. I can’t wait to dig deeper into this draft class. I know our head contributor TD Hunter has already been diving into it but give me time to research prospects!

The Baltimore Ravens’ Future Opponents has finally been set!

Ravens Media via Twitter

We’ve received the last place schedule for the most part, but come next season, that won’t mean a damn thing. I mean, it will, but at the same time, it won’t. The NFL is a week-to-week league, with anything happening at any time. So looking at the possibilities of going to any games would be slim to none unless I decide to go to the Jungle, Paul Brown Stadium, again when the Ravens come to town. Another option I’m trying to convince my wife of is taking a trip to Jacksonville, FL, whenever the Jags and Ravens play.

That would be an incredible time. Another quick note on the Baltimore Ravens’ Future travel plans is that they get to play at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey twice in one season against the New York Jets and New York Giants.

Overall, I’m happy with this opponent’s layout & the possibilities with the actual schedule. I’m also super excited for this draft season & all the injury returns. 2022 will be an incredible year, and I hope everyone is looking forward to it like I am. As we’ve said many times, the Baltimore Ravens’ future is very bright.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article & remember to follow ATB Ravens everywhere you go!

Baltimore Ravens COVID-19 List: Chuck Clark

Unfortunately Ravens Safety Chuck Clark has been placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 List. Let’s look at all the options going forward

Baltimore Ravens place Chuck Clark on COVID-19 list
Credit: Baltimore Ravens; Shawn Hubbard

It has been around 24 hours, if not less, since news broke that Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark has been placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID-19 list.

It is still unclear whether he contracted the virus or was in close contact. The NFL is currently tightening up its COVID protocols with the new cases and outbreaks thanks to the Omicron variant. So seeing him in action this Sunday is still a huge question mark.

Being a key player, not only in the Ravens’ secondary but also on the defense as a whole. Clark will surely be missed if unable to suit up on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

Chuck Clark’s Stats

58 total tackles, one sack, and eight passes deflected. Also, a successful pick-up on the onside kick.

This guy has been relatively decent in coverage, a good tackler, and a solid overall player. Granted, even though he has a 62.4 PFF grade. He’s still a key player in this Raven’s defensive unit.

The Replacements

As we all know, this Ravens team brought back Tony Jefferson to help with a depleted secondary. Let’s explore some of the other guys real quick.

Geno Stone

 A young stud who is making his case to stay on this team instead of the practice squad and cut rotation, let’s look to see if he continues on a positive trend. So far, he only has 9 total tackles.

Anthony Levine

A guy who we’ve been able to count on for years, whether it’s in the special teams unit or on the defense as a strong/adjustment safety or a stacked up LB. He knows how to read the offense and get the job done if needed.

Hopefully, we’ll see Chuck Clark off the COVID-19 list and back on the field for the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday. We have to be patient, positive, and hope for the best. 

Stay tuned for more awesome Ravens ATB content!

Baltimore Ravens Offensive Line: How Do They Compare

Welcome to a take on the Baltimore Ravens Status Quo on the Offensive Line. Enjoy!

ravens offensive line
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens offensive line has been a popular topic as of late. Throughout recent history the Ravens have had one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. But how does this years offensive line compared to years prior? Lets take a look.

The Ravens Offensive Line

Week in, week out, they are the first to be blamed and the last to fame. As a fan base, we need to do an in-depth look at our previous and current “Status Quo” of the offensive line. With that being said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of things.

Some say that the Ravens’ current offensive line is good. Others will say that they are bad. Some of us roll with a happy medium of good enough. It’s tough to properly grade all these big fellas in a world where everyone is focused on skill positions, but thankfully, some people at Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Reference have us covered.

The Present

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Ranked 57/81 in the Tackle position
Marked as a 62.7 Graded Yellow Player

This guy is a solid player game in and game out. Yes, unfortunately, he has gotten beaten in the pass pro a lot more than I’d like to admit, but the guy is always looking to make improvements when he can. Coming to Baltimore has opened his versatility more, in my opinion, considering he was going to be placed at right tackle before the Ronnie Stanley injury. The transition to right tackle was a little rough, but it was also full of potential. The team moving him back to his most comfortable position ended up working out.

Left Guard: Ben Powers

Ranked 25/78 in the Guard Position
Marked as a 68 Graded Green Player

Ben Powers has been a giant question mark of “Can he fill in this weird left guard void?” since Bradley Bozeman moved over to center. Don’t get me wrong, he is a quality player and has been proving me wrong week in and out. The way he tends to move around to get in crucial blocks has been quite impressive. Will he keep the “this all game thing” going, or will there be more rotations?

Center: Bradley Bozeman

Ranked 10/38 in the Center Position
Marked as 72.1 Graded Green Player

Everyone should know by now that Bozeman is my favorite offensive lineman on this current Ravens team. Outside of a few bad snaps (which happens from time to time) he’s been an excellent guy in the communications job, along with getting in all of his assigned blocks. I have been praying to the football gods that he stays Raven for a long time.

Right Guard: Kevin Zeitler

Ranked 17/78 in the Guard Position
Marked as 70.9 Graded Green Player

Mr. Kevin Zeitler. A guy we only wish we had sooner to fill the large shoes left by the retirement of future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda. A guy who has now played for 3/4 AFC North teams (if I’m not mistaken) and excels in the right guard spot. His footwork, hand in the cadence/snap count, and ability to make adjustments at whims notice are uncanny. Sometimes, he does get beat but not very often. Just get his replacement ready to fill his shoes whenever he goes to retire (hopefully as a Raven).

Right Tackle: Patrick Mekari

Ranked 44/81 in Tackle Position
Marked as 68.4 Graded Green Player

Patrick Mekari has been at the top of my list for this team, starting center or guard. It hurt a little seeing him not a starter in either position at first, but when Stanley went down early in the season & seeing him take over right tackle with huge success was a pleasant surprise. Later on he got hurt himself. His presence was missed while away. The game vs. the Bears, though, did show that the rust needs to be shaken off.

This lineup listed above is good enough to get this Ravens team to the playoffs & into a bit of a post-season run. You can take whatever you want out of the stats you can find, the film, & anything else to form your own opinion. But at the end of the day, this is a solid unit, even with a 68.42 grading average.

2019 Offensive Line

  • Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley
    • 88.5 Graded Blue Player
  • Left Guard: Bradley Bozeman
    • 63.4 Graded Yellow Player
  • Center: Matt Skura/Patrick Mekari
    • Matt: 68.7 Graded Green Player
    • Patrick: 70.5 Graded Green Player
  • Right Guard: Marshal Yanda
    • 86.6 Graded Blue Player
  • Right Tackle: Orlando Brown Jr
    • 72 Graded Green Player

The 2019 14-2 Baltimore Ravens offensive line was an average of 74.95 graded team. They were roughly 6.53 points better than the current team (as of somewhere in between weeks 11 & 12 of the 2021 season). There was some bolstering but also some regression in other areas, as we all know. We had all pros in Ronnie, Marshal, and Zues Jr.

2020 Offensive Line Grading

  • Left Tackle: Zues Jr
    • Graded as a 76.5
  • Left Guard: Bradley Bozeman
    • PFF Grade 64.3
  • Center: Matt Skura
    • PFF Grade 50.2
  • Right Guard: Ben Powers
    • PFF Grade 59.4
  • Right Tackle: DJ Fluker
    • PFF Grade 63.8

We can also ask how did the team have an 11-5 record with this offensive line? Let me remind you of these things. Ronnie went down the first time. Matt Skura, Trystan Colon, & Patrick Mekari were all competing for the starting center position. Tyre Phillips was also in the right guard rotation. The 2020 COVID season was bizarre and mildly successful for a whole lot of offensive line shuffles.

Anyways, as we look forward to the remaining weeks in the 2021 season, note that our current starting lineup can be just as good as the 2019 offensive line. Give it time and let it grow. Even though times look tough with the recent injury report, the big guys up front are communicating more and getting that chemistry they need to get the job done. Thanks to them, the Baltimore Ravens can end the 2021 season as a 12-5 or 13-4 team.

Baltimore Ravens and RAS

This next part will focus on the Ravens. As you guys continue to read through this series you will see the connect with RAS and teams drafting strategies are not as easy as saying all teams want to get bigger, faster, stronger. While yes that’s true in a way, but its not that simple.

See my previous parts:

Las Vegas Raiders | San Francisco 49ers | Indianapolis Colts

Teams have different things they are looking for athletically. The Ravens as you will see are kind of different.

Quarterback:

Since Eric DeCosta took over for Ozzie Newsome he has drafted one quarterback. Trace McSorley in 2019. McSorley did it all and came away with a pretty good score of 8.29. But with such limited information there is not much to go off. Ozzie Newsome did draft Lamar Jackson the year before Decosta took over. So you might want to keep an eye on athletic quarterbacks, but I don’t see it as a definitive.

Running backs:

In DeCosta’s three draft classes he has drafted two running backs and one fullback. They drafted Justice Hill in 2019 and J.K. Dobbins in 2020. The lone fullback they drafted is Ben Mason in 2021. In regards to the running backs Hill did put up a score of 9.33. He did not do any agility testing. His speed and explosion numbers were elite. in Dobbins case he did no testing except for height and weight. Interestingly enough both are about 5’9 1/2, although I don’t think that means anything in particular. They both also had over 20 reps on the bench. Again I don’t know if it means much with a small sample size, but interesting none the less.

With Mason he is almost tight end size at 6’3 246. He had great explosion numbers and just ok to average speed and agility numbers. Since he is the only fullback drafted again we can’t take too much from it.

Tight ends:

DeCosta has not drafted a single tight end in his three years, so nothing to go off on here.

Wide Receivers:

In three short years DeCosta has drafted six receivers. He has drafted two receivers in each of the last three drafts. Marques Brown and Miles Boykins in 2019, Devin Duvernay and James Proche in 2020 and Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace in 2021. The six of them have an average ras score of 6.93. Wallace and Proche both scored on the low end, both below 5. Three of the other four scored 7.87 or higher. Marques Brown did not do any testing. One thing I can find in common with all the receivers is they scored very fast 10 yard splits. So that looks to be something that the Ravens find important with their receivers.

Pure speed also seems to be of importance to DeCosta. Four of the receivers drafted ran 4.5 or better. Three of those four ran 4.43 or faster. There is no 40 yard dash time on James Proche. Another thing is they do not seem to like exceptionally tall receivers. Outside of Boykins none of the receivers DeCosta has drafted were over 6’0. Four of them were 5’11 or shorter. The agility numbers are all over the place so it seems like the Ravens have no preference there. As for explosive drills they seem to like guys who are at least average or above. Wallace was the only one that tested poorly in those drills.

The weight of the players also stands out. Outside of Marques Brown every receiver weights 190+. Even Brown now is listed at 180. One final thing that stands out about the receivers drafted is arm length. Outside of Proche they all have 30″ arms or longer, and even Proche was close at 29 3/4. Bateman and Boykins both have 33″ arms. It could be said that they do not like receivers with arms that are short at least relatively to their bodies.

Offensive line:

This position is also of interest in regards to the type of players DeCosta has drafted. He has drafted four offensive linemen in his three drafts, and all four are guards. He drafted Ben Powers in 2019, Tyre Phillips and Ben Bredeson in 2020, and finally Ben Cleveland in 2021. Average out their ras scores and you get a very average 5.95. That is mostly due to Cleveland who brings a score of 9.63, Powers and Phillips both scored under 5, Bredeson did not do any testing. Even if you go back to some of Newsome’s recent drafts the offensive linemen did not score high. Guys like Orlando Brown for example.

DeCosta seems to like big strong guys. All four of his drafted guys were 6’4+ and all are above 307. Cleveland and Phillips are 330+. Explosion and agility scores are not important at all for DeCosta and the Ravens. Bredeson did no testing at all. All three that tested were either average or below average. On the agility tests all three tested poorly. Phillips and Cleveland were the only ones who ran the 40 and both were on opposite ends. Bench Press does not seem important either; two of the three could only did 20 and 21 reps respectively.

Defensive line:

In his three drafts DeCosta has drafted three defensive linemen. Daylon Mack in 2019 and Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington in 2020. Washington did no testing outside of the bench press. Mack scored a 4.16 RAS and Madubuike had a 9.32. It does seem the Ravens prefer shorter/squattier defensive linemen. All three are between 6’1-6’2. Also both Mack and Madubuike had great 10 yard splits, identical 1.73’s. Both also did well on the bench with over 30 reps. Although it is a small sample size we can say they like their defensive linemen on the shorter size and quick fast 10 yard splits.

Edge defenders:

The Ravens have drafted three edge defenders/defensive ends in DeCosta’s reign; Jaylon Ferguson in 2019, Odafe Owah and Daelin Hayes in 2021. The three’s average ras score comes out to a 7.77 which is pretty solid. Ferguson is on the bigger size at 270 where both Owah and Hayes are in the 250’s. All three also have good arm length between 33-34″.

As for RAS Ferguson had the lowest score with a 5.46, Owah was a freak with a 9.92, and Hayes with a solid 7.93. Ferguson had average scores across the board except for agility which were poor. Owah was elite on all testing while Hayes was above average on everything. The number are all over the place, so there is not enough information to get a good idea on what the Ravens look for at the position out side of decent arm length and that they do not emphasize agility drills and they like guys who have at least decent speed.

Linebackers:

DeCosta has drafted only two linebackers in his three drafts. He has drafted both Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison both in 2020. Queen had a RAS of 7.99, which was mostly brought down by his height and weight. Harrison scored a 9.42. Both of them had great scores in explosion. Both of them had broad jumps of 10’2″ or higher. Harrison had the slower 40 but still ran a solid 4.66. Queen did not do agility drills but Harrison did and put up an elite 3 cone time of 6.83 with an average short shuttle of 4.32. Also their 10 yard splits where a 1.64 and 1.58, those are above average to elite.

In regards to linebackers it seems size isn’t important to them, but explosiveness, 10 yard dash, and 40 time as well seem important to them.

Defensive backs:

Eric DeCosta has drafted 4 defensive backs since he became GM in 2019. He has drafted three corners and one Marauder (safety). The average of their four RAS scores is 6.95, which is a little surprising you would think it would have been higher. DeCosta drafted Iman Marshall in 2019, Geno Stone in 2020, and Shaun Wade and Brandon Stephens in 2021. All three corners are 6’1 or just under and all are 192 pounds plus, and 2 out of the three are over 200.

So it can be said that the Ravens front office likes larger corner. Again a theme that seems to play out with all their draft picks is that agility scores are not important to them. Marshall and Stephens had average to poor scores. Shaun Wade did not participate in agility drills. Explosion also seems to be a test they do not find important, of the three corners none have similar scores. Their scores run the gamut from poor to great and in-between. This is one position where the 10-yard splits may not be important. Brandon Stephens had a poor 10-yard split of 1.62. All of their 40 times are 4.53 or faster. So it can be said they like their corners to have at least decent speed.

To Stone the only marauder of the group, his overall speed is decent, and he has decent size at 5’10 207, but had poor explosion grades. This falls in line with the rest of the defensive backs, in that DeCosta does not seem to care about these tests.

Final Thoughts:

The Ravens are very peculiar in regards to their draft picks and athletic testing. It does not seem like they put a huge emphasis on it outside of certain tests. They seem to find 10-yard splits important almost across the board. They like freaky athletic linebackers, big physical corners, Shorter defensive linemen, Big strong offensive linemen, and DeCosta also seems to prefer solid built, but not overly tall wide receivers with good speed.