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Giants’ coaches prioritize playoffs, head-coaching interviews on hold

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll after the defense stopped Houston in the red zone in the second half. The Houston Texans at the New York Giants in a game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on November 13, 2022.

The Houston Texans Face The New York Giants In A Game Played At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On November 13 2022
Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka received requests to interview with three teams seeking a head coach. He told the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts that those conversations would have to wait.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said Thursday he’s planning the same tact with the Colts, who requested a huddle with the first-year boss of New York’s defense.

“It’s an honor. But when I came here as a Giant, it wasn’t a steppingstone it was a destination,” Martindale said. “Honestly, I’ve been locked in on Philly and not interviewing this week. When the time comes, if there’s still time and we can do it, I’d love to sit down and talk with them.”

Giants head coach Brian Daboll appeared to take the decision out of Kafka’s hands when asked Tuesday what the plan would be for releasing the first-time playcaller for interviews.

“I’m not going to dive too deep into it. He’s not going to do anything. Everything’s focused on Philadelphia, so this is going to be a normal week for him, for our offense. I know where his focus is. So, there won’t be any interviews leading up to this game,” Daboll said.

Like his coaching counterparts in New York, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said he was just “focused on the Giants right now.”

Steichen interviewed with the Panthers, Texans and Colts during the first-round bye week.

Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon — who met with the Texans on Jan. 14 — was asked how difficult it would be handle an interview this week, as Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will when he meets with the Denver Broncos on Friday.

“Yeah, New York Giants,” Gannon said Wednesday, swiftly moving on to the next question.

The Eagles were No. 1 in total defense and also led the NFL in pass defense in 2022.

Martindale finds it easier to practice what he’s been preaching to his players — focus on the task at hand — after the performance his defense delivered at Minnesota to win last week’s wild-card game.

“What a great time to be a Giant, to be a fan of the Giants,” said Martindale, in his first season with the Giants after 10 seasons with the Ravens, the final four years as defensive coordinator. “I’m so happy and proud of the defense and the way we played in Minnesota. The two fourth-quarter stops at the end of the game, it was just great to see. And I tell you guys all the time about how much I care about these guys and how close they are and selfless they are. And you saw that Sunday in that game with all those players; whatever they had to do to win the game, and that’s what they did.”

–Field Level Media