How Blake Martinez is Preparing for His First Giants Season
Linebacker Blake Martinez is currently in his home state of Arizona, where he's been adhering to social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although he hasn't been able to travel to the Giants' facility in East Rutherford to train or meet his new teammates, Martinez is doing what he can to prepare for his new role for when the Giants do get back to work.
The 26-year-old linebacker has been keeping in shape in a home gym that he and his father built.
"We put this project together. And it was a weirdly at a perfect time just cause they have to be quarantined. So I'm quarantined in a weight room," Martinez said during a conference call Monday with reporters.
Martinez's home gym includes a weight room, a turf field, and a basketball court. It also served as the backdrop for the photo of his official contract signing on Monday.
It is not known when Martinez will get the chance to move his training to Quest Diagnostics Training Facility.
The Giants were scheduled to begin their off-season program on April 6, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all off-season programs have been postponed, and all team facilities have been closed.
The NFL, which is in constant communication with health and government officials, has no clear timetable for when players and coaches can reunite for team activities, though the league does plan to push ahead with its draft.
While Martinez would prefer to get to work with his new coaches and teammates, he will have to settle for learning remotely through video conferencing, conference calls, and group chats.
"I've kind of been used to this within schooling and stuff at Stanford," he said of remote learning.
"We did a lot of video conference things, so I have an understanding of how I thrive while learning through that. (But) it'll be weird not being able to sit in the same room."
Martinez said the Giants sent him an iPad with last season's games loaded. However, the iPad has not been loaded with the new playbooks as the league has not yet provided guidelines to teams regarding when that material can be made available to the players.
"I'm kind of in limbo right now," Martinez said. "I'm just working out on those types of things and waiting for the next steps within the kind of virus protocol of what we're allowed to do."
Other than perhaps linebacker Kyler Fackrell, another former Packer who will join Martinez on the Giants this year, Martinez doesn't know anyone else currently on the team other than punter Riley Dixon through a shared agency.
But the outgoing Martinez should have no trouble building rapport with his new coaches and teammates once they are allowed to congregate under the same roof.
"[We] just have to use kind of interesting ways to have fun and interact without having to be with each other," Martinez said.
"Whether it's playing video games or chatting on a Zoom call or a Skype call or whatever it ends up being just to kind of get to know each other and kind of bond that way."