Sports

Blake Martinez already loves these new-look Giants

Blake Martinez already loves these new-look Giants

It has already happened again for Blake Martinez.

“I’ve been in the huddle calling the plays, I’m looking around, I’m like, ‘Wow! This is an awesome huddle right here!’ ” Martinez told The Post when the Giants minicamp ended on Thursday. “ ‘OK, this is gonna work out.’ It’s always good to have those feelings going into each and every year.”

If you are interested in the state of the Giants’ defense, you go to one of two men: safety Logan Ryan or inside linebacker Blake Martinez.

We’ll let Martinez call the plays out loud this time for the Giants fan:

“For us, we think the sky’s the limit. Once that Sunday comes around at home with a full stadium, everyone’s gonna see, and it’s time for us to show-up-or-shut-up type of thing,” Martinez said.

For Big Blue, a second year under brainiac defensive coordinator Patrick Graham means it is time to show up. Show up the way proud Giants defenses of yesteryear always showed up.

“It’s allowed us to continue building that foundation that we built,” Martinez said, “and top of that, it just adds in the ability to add an extra check, kind of extra flavor to the stuff we already did last year that worked, and just allows us to keep being multiple and add new things and not allow offenses to know what we’re attacking ’em with.”

Martinez broke down for The Post his observations on some of the key members of his brotherhood and several of the newcomers:

05/27/21 - Giants' Blake Martinez (54) works out during OTAs
Blake Martinez (54) has big hopes for the Giants defense in 2021.
Bill Kostroun

Mountainous nose tackle Danny Shelton, the 2015 Browns’ first-round pick who replaces Dalvin Tomlinson: “It’s just gonna make my job that much easier. I messed with the coaches saying that no wonder he was a first-rounder, ’cause he’s basically three guys in one, so basically with one pick you got three guys.”

Dexter Lawrence’s Hog Mollieness compared to Shelton: “Dexter Lawrence is another freak of nature, he basically is just a little taller, so he kind of looks a little more thinned out. We call him the ‘Juggernaut.’ As in the Marvel Comics character: He pretty much runs through anything and nothing can stop that dude.”

Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who missed the last 11 games in 2020 with an Achilles tendon injury: “Just knowing him as a person, I knew he was gonna come back ready to go. It’s just been cool and been amazing to see him back the way he’s moving, the way he’s looking out there.”

05/15/21 - Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari (51) works out during rookie minicamp
Rookie Azeez Ojulari is already drawing rave reviews from Giants veteran Blake Martinez.
Bill Kostroun

Second-round pick OLB Azeez Ojulari: “He’s a freak. He’s just obviously raw coming out, and once again one of those guys that came in, knew he had to put the work in, and he’s been doing that every single day and just extremely excited to see him grow, and once it clicks, it’s gonna be pretty scary.”

Fourth-round pick OLB Elerson Smith: “I call him ‘Gumby.’ He’s like 7-foot-9, but he can move like a gymnast out there. It’s the same thing as Azeez. Once both of those guys get it and they click for ’em, they’re gonna be a scary duo.”

Inside linebacker Reggie Ragland: “One of the athletic big men I’ve seen. Awesome guy in the locker room. He’s extremely smart, obviously he’s has had a bunch of experience in the league. It’s been great to kind of just bounce off different ideas with him.”

Safety Xavier McKinney, who broke his foot in his rookie training camp last August and played in six games: “He came in locked in bigger than ever, moving really well, just excited for him this year.”

Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson: “A guy that just shows up ready to work, lock in on his assignment.”

A forever-hungry defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the $21 million man: “There’s no way our defense would allow any complacency across the board.”

Shelton (345 pounds before breakfast), sandwiched between Lawrence and Williams, are the brawn in front of the brains, Martinez and Ryan.

“Every person understands the defense just as much as us,” Martinez said, “but we’re the communicators out there. We’re the guys that if anything funky happens, we get everyone lined up, everyone in the right check, calling out certain things that we see, and once again, awesome to have Logan on the team, ’cause he’s helped me grow as a player immensely.”

Martinez was third in the league last season with 151 tackles.

“Finding ways to even be one or two steps quicker on certain things, see things faster, get people in the right checks quicker,” he said of himself. “Get as close to perfection as you can.”

Joe Judge: “Whether it’s a coach or a player, he’s gonna make sure he’s getting the best out of everybody. … His number one thing is he believes that every single person could be even better than what people expect. There’s a lot of people out there that would pat us on the back last year. But all of us as a team know we’re competitors and we want to be playing further into January and continuing our season. … There’s no complacency anywhere at any point, any tier of this team, and it starts with him and all the way down.”

On the other side of the ball, Daniel Jones: “He’s a guy that’s gonna step in the locker room, everyone’s gonna listen. He steps in the huddle, every player is listening to him. He’s demanding, he knows how to compete. We don’t have a quarterback, we have a number one leader of this team and a number one leader in the NFL.”

Kenny Golladay: “The guy’s an animal. Once again, excited he’s on my team. It’s kind of the Saquon [Barkley] effect. I’m glad we have these guys on our team.”

New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay #19 when the New York Giants practiced as part of Mini Camp
Blake Martinez describes new teammate Kenny Golladay as “an animal.”
Robert Sabo

The young offensive line: “They’ve been training this offseason together, they’ve been doing multiple things together, bonding, working with the new [O-line coach Rob Sale]. It’s gonna be exciting to see that growth. When they click as a unit, I think they’re one of the best out there.”

Giants fans: “Everyone should be just as excited as we are. The ability to have the Giant fans’ energy at the stadium this year is just gonna heighten it even more. They’re gonna be able to have just excitement of us out there playing and seeing how much fun we’re having, and on top of that, that resiliency and that grind for competition to go out there and compete every single week and come up successful.

“I can’t wait.”

About the author

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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