Inside linebacker Blake Martinez was never the playmaker the Green Bay Packers needed him to be. That in large part is why they chose not to resign him, despite being one of the top tacklers in the NFL over the last three seasons. However, now Martinez is basically saying he was underutilized in the Packers’ defense. Stop it.
“I think that’s the one misconception of me, I guess the public view,” Martinez said in a conference call posted on the New York Giants website. “The way we ran the defense, at least the last two years, is I’m kind of put into the cleanup crew guy.”
As opposed to what, Blake?
Sure, Martinez may be right about his role, but there are good reasons for it. His athletic limitations made the coach’s decision to cut him loose far too difficult. Martinez has average speed, lateral quickness, and takes inconsistent angles. These traits are not ideal for a free-roaming linebacker.
But sure, the 26-year-old linebacker is still right in some aspects. He made tackles farther downfield and tried to make the most of his blitz opportunities thanks to a good defensive line. Yet, it was the lack of big plays that we all longed for.
In four seasons, Martinez forced two fumbles, recorded 10 sacks, and hauled in three interceptions. Last year, his tackles for loss were cut in half from the previous year before. Frankly, his production wasn’t enough to warrant the three-year, $30 million he received from the Giants.
Today, he claims it was his role that held him back. No, you don’t get that cop-out. The plays were there to be made, and the film shows you weren’t up for the task. And don’t say the Packers don’t value the position, that’s BS. Every defense wants a dominating presence in the middle, you weren’t it and now they have moved on.
We will always appreciate Martinez’s time in Green Bay for his consistency and reliability, but no one is falling for this one.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.