Before Sunday's game against the Patriots, a FOX Sports report shocked New York Giants players and fans, suggesting a significant rift between head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. Seriously, Wink and Coach Dabes were having some sort of a beef?
Tension and frustration are expected on a struggling team, but the unexpected twist came when NFL insider Jay Glazer hinted at Martindale possibly leaving before the season's end. Jihad Ward, who had a standout game with five tackles and 1.5 sacks vs. the Patriots, defended his coaching staff and addressed the rumors after Sunday's game.
Jihad Ward was not happy over the Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale rumors
Rumors suggest that tension arose after the Big Blue loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Nov. 5. Safety Xavier McKinney criticized the coaching staff, stating they have not "done a great job letting the leaders lead."
The issue escalated when Martindale responded to McKinney, prolonging a narrative opposing Daboll's priority of minimizing distractions. Despite the exaggerated rumors, Daboll lightened the mood, humorously addressing his relationship with Martindale by saying they usually argue over who gets the last slice of pizza at the team facility.
With Martindale seemingly along for the long haul, Giants fans anticipate more defensive masterpieces like Sunday. As the Giants head into the BYE week after two consecutive wins, the hope is for cohesion among the coaching staff as they prepare for the remainder of the 2023 season.
The fact of the matter here, however, is that Ward can't be the only player who is frustrated with word that's being spread about the team. When you play in the New York market and your team is struggling, you become an easy target for insiders and reporters. Ward isn't here for any of that, as he'll always be quick to protect guys inside of the locker room. This feels like any Wink-Daboll drama will be a non-issue for the rest of the campaign.