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INDIANAPOLISWould Don ‘Wink’ Martindale bring some Bruce Arians-type vibes to the Colts?

In reportedly planning to interview Martindale for a second time, the Colts will be meeting with a coach who people gush about his candid, straight-forward personality.

Martindale, 59, has been a defensive coach in the NFL for the last two decades.

He has had defensive coordinator stops with the Broncos (2010), Ravens (2018-21) and Giants (2022).

New Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who has an offensive background, hired Martindale to oversee the entire defense in New York last offseason.

The results were great team success in Year One, as the Giants made the playoffs and won in the Wild Card Round over the Vikings.

Martindale’s defensive style is uber aggressive and would be a stark contrast to how Gus Bradley/Matt Eberflus have run things for the Colts defense in years past.

Given how Jim Irsay thinks of a guy like Arians, Martindale bringing such a personality could be enticing to the Colts Owner. Chris Ballard has also been attracted to coaches like Martindale.

Chuck Pagano, who coached with Martindale back in the 2000s in Oakland, agrees with the similarities between Arians and Martindale.

As someone in the Giants organization noted to me about Martindale, ‘he’s the freaking man, juice guy and a great teacher.”

A Martindale presence leading the Colts would also be quite the change from how Frank Reich led Indy for the past handful of seasons.

Martindale spent a decade coaching in Baltimore under John Harbaugh, so he’s seen firsthand how a CEO-type head coach can have consistent success.

It was a contract dispute between the Ravens and Martindale which led to his departure from there last year.

Along with his ample coordinating history, Martindale has mostly coached linebackers in his NFL tenure.

Martindale has never been a head coach, at any level. He does have ties to the Midwest, having been born in Dayton, Ohio.


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