Blake Martinez Wants to Be the Giants' Rock
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez wants to be more than just the Giants defense’s man in the middle.
Martinez, the unrestricted free agent signed by the Giants this off-season wants to be that rock, that calming presence for when an already unusual off-season that has taken more twists and turns than a rollercoaster takes on even more challenges.
“That’s the reason I am here, to be that guy,” he said. “For me, I pride myself on not being too flustered in any moments and being that rock for the defense. Especially obviously for me being the quote, unquote, quarterback on the defense. Being that guy that’s always calm, cool, and collected.”
This off-season and, by extension, training camp has made the development of team camaraderie that typically develops organically through interpersonal interactions challenging.
As an emerging leader, Martinez has tried to look at the positive side of the equation and notes that the coaching staff and players did a good job with building camaraderie during the spring when everyone was relegated to video conferences.
“I think overall we did a great job as a team making sure we took advantage of what we were given,” he said. “The Zoom meetings, being able to add in video games at nighttime with guys, just chatting with guys after the meetings ended.
"Overall, walking in it was just having to see the guy’s face for the first time in person. Being like, oh sweet, that’s what you look like, it’s not just your face, I get your whole body now. That portion was different, but overall, it was cool to walk in and make it seem like we have been friends for the last six months.”
Now that the team is together, the next challenge it will face, besides ensuring that it keeps the novel coronavirus out of the locker room, is jelling as a defensive unit.
That could be tricky considering there won’t be any preseason games, but Martinez believes there will be other ways for the team to make up for some of what it might miss from not having preseason games.
“Right now, we are still in phase one. Once it gets there, I’m projecting there will be some type of way to get a competitive aspect and get those reps that can match a preseason some way. I think that’s kind of the big thing for preseason.”
And so long as the Giants continue to focus on mastering the fundamentals, the hope is that once the curtain rises on the 2020 regular season, the Giants will be ready. And along the way, if things start to spiral out of control, the Giants’ “rock” wants to be that beacon of light that helps keep everyone focused.
“For me, it’s just being able to allow those guys to understand that I’m going to be on top of everything from checks, making sure people are lined up in the right position, that I am that calming factor.
“Whether it’s walkthroughs, talking in meetings, guys start to recognize this guy knows what going on, this guy is going to allow me to not have any freak moments. If things are moving fast, ‘He’s the guy that I can turn to and calm myself down.’”
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