Seattle has already requested to interview several potential candidates to replace Ken Norton, Jr. who was fired earlier this week. Norton, Jr. was the DC in Seattle for four seasons and the defense never really showed any kind of long-term improvement. Norton, Jr. was a bad hire four years ago and needed to be let go.
But the Ravens letting Martindale go? There had to be something going on behind the scenes that most fans aren’t privy to because letting Martindale walk just seems dumb. Or, even worse, a knee-jerk reaction to one bad year for the Ravens defense.
Why Seattle Seahawks should hire Wink Martindale
In 2021, Baltimore’s defense ranked 19th in points-allowed-per-game (23.1) and gave up the most completions of 20-plus yards in the NFL (74). But this wasn’t because of poor coaching; The dip in the Ravens defense was due to injuries. Baltimore lost cornerback Marcus Peters (a 3-time Pro Bowler and 2-time First-team All-Pro) before the season started and CB Marlon Humphrey (a 2-time Pro Bowler and one-time First-team All-Pro) during the season due to injuries.
Baltimore also lost free safety DeShon Elliott in week 9 with an injury. So for a team that relies on extreme aggressiveness and lots of blitzing to be really good, losing three out of four starters in the secondary makes the scheme a lot less likely to work.
And before 2021, Martindale’s scheme did work very well in his three previous years as the Ravens DC. In 2018 and 2019, the Ravens led the NFL in fewest yards allowed. Every season from 2018 through 2021 Baltimore finished eighth or better against the run (Baltimore allowed the fewest yards rushing in 2021). And before the injuries took their toll on the Ravens secondary this season, Baltimore allowed anywhere from the fifth-to-sixth fewest yards passing from 2018 through 2020. Basically, the entire defense was good.
The Seahawks have the players to play with aggressiveness and players with the ability to blitz. Martindale’s defenses are going to blitz a lot. Jamal Adams would be better under Martindale as Martindale would know much better how to get the most out of Adams’ unique talent than did Norton, Jr.
Are 12s tired of watching the Seahawks sit back and allow crossing patterns to be completed and opposing offenses eat up almost two-thirds of a game more often than not. Seattle has defensive talent but it has been ill-used. Martindale would be a perfect fit with players currently on the Seahawks roster.