Brian Daboll & Top Giants Assistant Tipped for ‘Mutual Parting of the Ways’: Report

Brian Daboll

Getty New York Giants' head coach Brian Daboll and his top assistant "are in a bad place."

Dissension among the ranks could lead to the New York Giants losing their most high-profile assistant coach. Defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll “are in a bad place,” according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who thinks “there could be a mutual parting of the ways.”

Glazer, who provided the update before the Giants faced the New England Patriots in Week 12, believes a split could even happen before this season ends. He noted how tension is increasing between coach and play-caller.

Tensions have been simmering for weeks between Daboll and Martindale. The handling of public criticism from safety Xavier McKinney has divided the two coaches, but a more fundamental clash of personalities has also contributed to the animosity.

Despite the ill will, at least one Giants reporter believes it would be “ridiculous” to single Martindale out for the chop. Especially since his defense remains the best thing about a struggling Giants team.

Brian Daboll & ‘Wink’ Martindale Not Meshing

An uneasy relationship between Daboll and his DC has been obvious to many connected to the Giants. Including Dan Duggan of The Athletic, who reported on the “friction” between the pair after the Giants were beaten 49-17 by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10.

Duggan highlighted how the difference in each man’s methods was highlighted by their responses to McKinney’s comments. While Daboll “downplayed” the player’s remarks, Martindale was more “candid.”

The two coaches also failed to coordinate their conflicting responses, per Duggan: “The story could have died after Daboll addressed it last Monday and McKinney turned the page at a charity event on Tuesday. But Martindale breathed new life into the controversy during his weekly Thursday news conference when he shared how hurt and surprised he was by the comments, ‘because it’s the first time it’s ever happened in my career.'”

Martindale continuing a story Daboll wanted to make go away wasn’t the only time the two coaches were at odds.

Duggan also referenced how “Martindale constantly references how he strives to maintain a composed demeanor on the sideline.” This is in stark contrast to “Daboll’s tablet tosses and red-faced outbursts on the sideline.”

The clash of styles will hurt the Giants since Martindale has developed some exciting talent on defense, while Daboll’s offense has floundered.

‘Wink’ Martindale Has Done His Job, Amid Giants Struggles on Offense

As ESPN’s Jordan Raanan put it, “to scapegoat the coordinator of the team’s best unit for a team that has the 32nd ranked offense would be ridiculous.”

This is doubly true when Martindale’s defense has carried the Giants to their last two wins. The unit logged six sacks to help beat the Washington Commanders 14-7 in Week 7. It was the Commanders’ turn for more punishment in Week 11, when Big Blue’s defense forced five of six turnovers to spark a 31-9 victory.

Those wins were underpinned by players who are approaching stardom on Martindale’s watch. They include nose tackle Dexter Lawrence II, who became a Pro Bowler for the first time during Martindale’s debut season calling the defense in 2022.

Lawrence has continued to dominate, while outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux has also made strides. He became the first edge-rusher under Martindale to log double-digit sacks in a campaign after a record-setting outing against the Commanders, that included these impressive numbers, per PFF NY Giants.

Thibodeaux was the fifth player taken in the 2022 NFL draft, while Lawrence was a first-round pick in 2019. Both represent significant investments for the Giants, so Martindale’s influence on their careers transcends wins, losses and stats.

It’s one reason why the Giants should think twice about letting one of the league’s best-regarded defensive coordinators walk away.