Blake Martinez was one of the NY Giants’ marquee offseason additions in 2021, but could be in for an even bigger 2021 campaign
Last season, the NY Giants finally found the leader at the linebacker position they’ve been searching for since the days of Antonio Pierce.
Blake Martinez came to East Rutherford via free agency, and he’s done nothing but contribute fantastic play and invaluable leadership since. One of the favorites of Patrick Graham, the pair hasn’t even scratched the surface on the heights they can reach together.
Even after his tremendous season in 2020, Martinez has been overlooked – snubbed for the Pro Bowl, and continually left out of the conversation among the leagues’ best linebackers. On this week’s episode of FanSided’s The Matt Lombardo Show podcast, Giants’ rookie Cam Brown mentioned Martinez as somebody who’s ‘really underrated.’
“Blake Martinez. He’s a guy, who I think is really underrated. He didn’t get voted to the Pro Bowl last year, and I know it’s a fan-favorite vote and all that, but him being in New York, doing what he does, being the leader of the defense, how he came in day one as a leader, I think he needs to get more respect than he does. He’s a leader of men, he helps facilitate everyone in that room learn, and he’s a great leader and player.”
Even if Martinez hasn’t gotten the league-wide recognition he searches for, it’s obvious he has the respect and admiration of his teammates. For a player like Brown, the lessons learned from a player of Martinez’s caliber mean the world.
As Brown tries to ascend into a key contributor on the Giants’ defense, Martinez will continue to be a shining light. Brown also talked about some of the lessons he’s already learned from the linebacker, including some that’s helping the game ‘slow down’ for the second-year player.
“He let me know that the biggest thing is to translate what the coaches are saying in your own head. You can’t take all of it, for exactly literally, you have to make it make sense to you. He’s a smart guy, he does a lot, but what he’s passed onto me is knowledge and making the game slow down,” said Brown. Even the conversations you’re having, break it down, understand all the notes you’re taking, and the play will follow.”
Martinez serving as a leader, teacher and inspiration for the young players on the Giants’ defense is a welcome sight. It’s obvious that players like Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin and Brown will be better off for soaking up all the knowledge he has to offer.
Before Cam Brown’s sophomore season begins, you can listen to the full interview with him on this week’s episode of FanSided’s The Matt Lombardo Show podcast. Aside from his comments on Martinez, he also talks about Daniel Jones’ competitiveness, and NY Giants’ second round pick, Azeez Ojulari.