The New York Giants entered free agency with some of the most spending money available amongst the 32 NFL teams. While Big Blue failed to land superstar names such as Jadeveon Clowney despite rumored interest, New York still put their money to good use, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
The Giants’ most notable free-agent additions this offseason include the likes of potential lockdown corner James Bradberry, as well as tacking-machine Blake Martinez. The latter appeared on a recent airing of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football to discuss what went into his decision to take his talents to the Big Apple. The 2nd-leading tackler in all of football last season preached scheme fit and familiarity as the two key reasons why he will don Blue next year.
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The Perfect Fit
“Going through the process, I just thought about what kind of fit [would be best] for myself, individually, my play style and those types of things,” Martinez said in response to GMFB co-host Kyle Brandt’s question of ‘Why the New York Giants?’
“Obviously, looking at the potential places I could go to, New York just jumped off the tape for me. Just seeing the guys that are on the team, the young talent across the board, obviously a new head coach [Joe Judge].”
Martinez ‘Super Excited’ to Be a Giant, Reunite With Ex-Coach
The fit for Martinez goes beyond the schematics, but also takes into account the familiarity he has with the Giants’ coaching staff, specifically the team’s newly-hired defensive coordinator.
“My old inside linebacker coach [Patrick Graham] is now the defensive coordinator. Everything kind of just paired together easily.”
Graham served as Martinez’s position coach with the Green Bay Packers for the 2018 season. While the marriage between coach and player only lasted a single year, it’s safe to say they had a productive working relationship. Martinez ranked 2nd in the NFL in tackles that year with 144. He also chipped in with five sacks, the most over his four-year career.
All-in-all Martinez appears pumped for his new start in New York. “I was just super excited that I had the chance to go be a Giant,” the linebacker noted.
Martinez will be tasked with elevating the play of a Giants linebacking corps that has been one of the league’s worst units in football in recent memory from a talent perspective.
The former Packer doesn’t come without his fair share of question marks, most notably his murky coverage skills. However, he’s still just a 26-year-old, highly productive, instinctive playmaker with room to grow.
The arrow is certainly pointing up for the Giants defense.
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