Colts Planning Second Don Martindale HC Interview

Add Don Martindale to the growing list of candidates to advance to the second round of the Colts’ head coaching search. The Colts are scheduling a second Martindale interview for this weekend, Adam Schefter of tweets.

The Colts are the only team to reach out to the Giants’ defensive coordinator during this year’s hiring cycle, which continues a pattern for Martindale. Despite his success in Baltimore and now New York, Martindale has not been especially popular on the HC interview circuit. But he improved his stock a bit during his first season with the Giants.

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Despite significant issues at multiple positions coming into the season, the Giants managed to field a competent defense. The team finished 17th in points allowed, and while DVOA was less kind to Martindale’s unit (29th), the rebuilding team-turned-playoff entrant did enough to turn back a Lamar Jackson-led Ravens team, continue the Packers’ midseason swoon and deny the Vikings on back-to-back fourth-quarter drives in the wild-card round.

The Ravens did not renew Martindale’s contract after the 2021 season, his fourth as the franchise’s DC, but the Giants showed considerable interest. To prevent Martindale from exploring other DC opportunities after their interview, the Giants offered him a three-year contract. That did the trick, and Martindale joined OC Mike Kafka in being critical to Brian Daboll‘s first-year success in New York. The Giants have now seen Martindale, Kafka and quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney receive interview requests. Kafka interviewed with the Texans for a second time, but Houston looks to prefer DeMeco Ryans. The Colts also met with Kafka, but he has not yet been summoned for a second interview.

A Dan Quinntype scenario here exists, per’s Jordan Raanan, who notes (via Twitter) the Giants could bump Martindale’s pay to convince him to stay rather than joining the Colts. Martindale, however, will turn 60 in a few months. After six years as an NFL defensive coordinator, he is running out of time to move up in the league.

As for the Colts, they have a host of candidates still in the mix for their top job. After virtual interviews, the Colts are meeting in-person with candidates the second time around. Irsay did not participate in the virtual interviews; the owner is meeting with the candidates who advance to the second round. Here are the coaches on Indianapolis’ second-interview radar:

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