Wink Martindale clears air on Xavier McKinney comments that 'hurt the locker room'

The Giants DC was not happy with McKinney calling out the staff
Giants defensive coordinator Don \"Wink\" Martindale during warm ups prior to the Houston Texans at
Giants defensive coordinator Don \"Wink\" Martindale during warm ups prior to the Houston Texans at / Chris Pedota, / USA

The New York Giants are 2-7 and their season has spiraled out of control. Not only has virtually every important Giants player dealt with injury, but they have also stunk when they were on the field.

Xavier McKinney is one of the few Giants players who has stayed healthy all campaign, though he has not played good football. McKinney, one of New York's captains, has made things worse by saying stupid stuff to the media on Sunday after the Las Vegas Raiders destroyed New York.

In his postgame press conference, McKinney told the media that he doesn't think Giants coaches have "done a great job of letting the leaders lead." He also told reporters, "It's hard to go out there and be able to make plays when you don't feel like you're being heard." Really? Wink Martindale was not happy about this at all.

Wink Martindale took exception to Xavier McKinney's comments

First of all, you have to love how candid Martindale was. McKinney called out Wink and attempted to publicly hurt his reputation on Sunday night, so it was only fair for Martindale to call him out in public.

Wink has been around the NFL for a long time, so I am sure it deeply hurt when McKinney, one of the Giants captains and defensive leaders, said the coaching staff doesn't listen to the players. He noted that none of the other captains believe that the players aren't being heard, while also pointing out that this is the first time in his long coaching career he has been called out publicly like that.

One of the funnier sound bites Martindale gave about McKinney was when he said the coverage McKinney was complaining about them running was a coverage the Giants ran a time.

New York loves smart, tough, and dependable players. Right now, McKinney is not smart, not tough, and sure as heck isn't dependable. He has zero idea how to be a leader and has become a massive headache for the Giants. Wink has every right to be upset at McKinney and would be well within his rights to put X on the bench.

As Wink astutely pointed out, the Alabama product's comments hurt the locker room, especially the defensive side. A captain should know better than that, especially a captain that played college ball for Nick Saban.

McKinney is a free agent this spring, and it seems very likely he will not be back in New York next year. Why on earth would Joe Schoen or Brian Daboll want a guy who has acted the way McKinney has on their football team?