ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Reporters finally got the chance to speak with one of the Giants’ biggest offseason signings yesterday, Linebacker Blake Martinez. Martinez spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, three times topping 140 combined tackles, something no Giant has done even once over the last decade.
In 2019, Martinez recorded 155 total tackles (97 solo), three sacks, five tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, one interception, two passes defended and one forced fumble.
Martinez signed a 3-year, $30M contract with the team in March.
A full transcript of yesterday’s interview with reporters can be found below, as well as the media availability for the Giants’ sack leader from last season, LB Markus Golden.
LB Blake Martinez
Q: You guys added Logan Ryan to this defense. What do you know about him from your time in the league? What can he bring to the back end here?
A: I’ve never met him. Obviously, I’ve heard a lot of great things throughout the league from guys that have known him. Nate Ebner for one, obviously, he’s on our team now, talks really highly, really highly of him. I’m just excited for him to get here and get to work with him.
Q: You mentioned Nate and other guys who have kind of talked highly of him. What do they say? What do they kind of mention about his physicality, his cerebral style? What is it that they talk highly about?
A: Just he’s a player that has a non-stop motor. Someone that’s versatile that can kind of do a lot of things. I think that’s kind of the main stuff. We didn’t spend too much time talking about it. But for the most part, that’s kind of the gist that I’ve gotten so far.
Q: Just wondering how you’re feeling? We see you during live drills. You’ve kind of been on the side the last couple of days. What has this last week been like for you?
A: it’s good, I’m good. We don’t discuss injuries and things here. I have to push that to Coach Judge. But for the most part, I’m doing well. Just doing what I can do and getting ready every day.
Q: If you had a game, do you feel good enough that you could go out on the field, you could play football and do what you have to do?
A: Yeah. I’m always ready to go. Always ready to go.
Q: As a former Packer living in Wisconsin, what’s your take on what happened in Kenosha? Have you talked to your former teammates? Have you been involved at all in kind of those discussions?
A: As a team, we’ve had a lot of discussions on it. I know we obviously put a statement out before our scrimmage. We’ve had certain team meetings, leadership meetings about it. Us as a team, even in general, we’ve been doing a lot in the community. We have a bunch of different groups working in different areas in New Jersey and New York, just fighting for social justice and things like that. I haven’t talked too much to old players from the Packers, old teammates and things like that. But overall, it’s just a tragedy. It’s something that you kind of try to take the positives from it, where it can push things even more forward and more in the right direction to make sure this doesn’t happen and doesn’t continually happen.
Q: Coach Judge ran what sounds like a really fun drill at the end of practice. I’m just kind of wondering have you ever gone through something like that? Can you just talk about some of the things that Coach Judge has been doing to make it fun for you when training camp is usually so much hard work?
A: I think Coach Judge is always about efficiency, but he adds the fun aspect to it. I think that was one of those types of moments where we’re working on ball security and recovering fumbles, but making it a lot of fun for everyone around and a lot of fun for the guys who are doing it. Whether it’s adding in water, adding in that type of aspect, it brings that kid feeling where you’re on a slip n’ slide. It just made it a great way to end practice.
Q: Have you ever had a practice like that where they worked in some drills to bring back the old childhood memories, I guess?
A: No, this was the first time. I’ve done other things where it’s competition, but it’s more like oh we do an egg toss or something random outside of the football realm. But this was the first time that I’ve had a football type aspect like that.
Q: With the season less than two weeks away, in other seasons you might have pulled preseason games to get a hint of what other teams might be doing. How do you prepare going into this season?
A: It’s a little different obviously with not having preseason games to see, like you said, little bits and pieces. But overall, pretty much every year, the first four games of the season are kind of a crapshoot in general with what teams are going to do, whether it’s new offensive coordinators or a new type of philosophy offense wise. But I think going into this year, we talk about it a bunch, is it’s just going to come down to our overall kind of knowledge of football, whether it’s situations, fundamentals for each position. As long as we have those things down, you can kind of have the ability to adjust on the fly and see the certain things that teams are doing to either start the game and make those adjustments as the game goes on.
Q: Does the crapshoot work the other way too with people not knowing what you’re going to do?
A: Oh yeah, 100 percent. I think that’s the big component where you try to make it an advantage instead of a disadvantage. Where all of a sudden, you’re out there, you’re able to have those, like I said, situations and fundamentals down that other teams don’t have. Now they’re scrambling to fix those instead of having the time to adjust to what we’re doing.
LB Markus Golden
Q: I just wanted to get your take on the end of practice there. That’s not a drill we’ve seen too often. It looked like that was a lot of fun. Can you explain what was going on there?
A: Yeah, it was a ball security drill. Just making sure everybody knows how to cover the ball, but mixed with a little bit of fun. Had the water running, had the mud out there. It was pretty exciting. That was my first time seeing something like that. I was hyped up and excited to watch it. Had all the rookies go, and then we ended it with Coach Judge. That was big time. Coach Judge, he knows how to do it. He’s coaching us about ball security and he proved that what he does works because he got out there and did it himself.
Q: It sounded like you guys were encouraging him to get out there, too. Were you happy to see him step up and do it?
A: Of course. Yeah, of course. It was fun just to see him actually get out there and do it, too. It’s fun. It shows you that football is hard work, but there’s nothing wrong mixing a little fun into it. That was really exciting. Everybody got excited. It was fun. It was a fun way to end practice.
Q: The whole team can sort of see the finish line here to when training camp is over and the regular season starts. None of you have been through this kind of preparation before. Can you believe that the regular season is less than two weeks away, and how ready do you think you and the team are for this?
A: Yes, I can believe it. We had a lot of craziness going on with COVID and everything, but we’ve been keeping safe. Everybody in the organization has been doing all of the right things to stay safe and put the best schedule together, plus out there working hard and just having camp like it always is. Camp is always a lot of hard work. We just got out there, it brought us more together and we were able to work hard and really put a lot of work in. The season is coming up. We have a couple more weeks, so of course, we need to finish this week strong and keep it going. But of course, we’re looking forward to the season starting. That’s the best part. Everybody loves to get to the season and get playing in games and everything. That’s where the fun starts again, of course. We’re excited. A lot of hard work has been put in, and now it’s time to start getting out there and really competing.
Q: I want to go back to the first question. You were smiling from ear to ear talking about how much fun you had with that drill. What are some other things that you can maybe talk about that has been fun and different for you in this particular camp under Coach Judge?
A: Camp is always hard work. I’m not the guy to go into camp looking for fun. I go into camp looking for the hard work and looking forward to working hard. But I would say just being able to be back with the team has been fun. There are a lot of good people in the organization on the staff. But you have to make it fun no matter what. Being out there at practice, you have to have fun. But to end the day with a drill like that and actually see your head coach actually slide through the mud and recover the ball, it doesn’t get more fun than that. I have to give it to him. That was the most fun part right there, what we got to see today.
Q: Obviously, you guys added Logan Ryan here to this defense. What do you know about him from your time in the league? What kind of impact do you think he can have on this defense?
A: Yeah, I’ve heard of Logan Ryan. I haven’t really gotten to watch him like that, but from what I know, I know he’s a good player that’s made a lot of plays in this league and has been playing in the league for a while. You have to respect that. Anytime you can add a player like that that has that type of background, you’re excited to have him because you always want to get players to make the team better. That’s what I’m about. I’m excited just to be able to play with him when he gets here.
Q: Just to follow up, obviously as a pass rusher, they talk about the pass rush and coverage going hand in hand. When you have a secondary that can lock down, guys who can be effective, a corner who can lock guys down, what does that do for you guys as pass rushers?
A: It does a lot. Like you said, it works hand in hand. If you want to be able to cover guys, if you want to be able to not have to cover them all the time, you want the rushers to be able to rush. As rushers, you want to be able to have time to get after the quarterback. It works together. Anytime you have guys working together like that, it’s usually successful. That’s what we’ve been doing in practice, trying to work together. Everyone has been working hard. That’s all we’re going to do, is keep working and let it play out. I feel like we’ve been doing it, taking it step by step each week.