Giants ramping up defensive coordinator search with four interviewees, including Don Martindale, per reports

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are ramping up their search for a defensive coordinator under new head coach Brian Daboll. 

According to a report from NFL Media, the Giants conducted a virtual interview with Tennessee Titans defensive assistant Jim Schwartz. A report from the New York Post indicated that the Giants interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers defensive assistant Teryl Austin for the job. An additional report from NFL media stated that the Giants will interview former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale and former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai for the role.

Schwartz is a longtime defensive coordinator who has made stops in Tennessee, Buffalo and Philadelphia, and was also the Detroit Lions’ head coach from 2009 through 2013. He served as a senior defensive assistant on Mike Vrabel’s Titans staff last season, working with defensive coordinator Shane Bowen. He is known for utilizing an aggressive 4-3 scheme with wide edge rushers, which he prefers to give them a better angle to get to the quarterback. 

Austin was the defensive coordinator in Detroit under Schwartz’s successor, Jim Caldwell. He was also the defensive coordinator in 2018, and has spent the last three years as a senior defensive assistant and secondary coach on Mike Tomlin’s staff in Pittsburgh, working with defensive coordinator Keith Butler. He’s considered a top candidate to replace Butler in that role, so it’s notable that he has apparently spoken with the Giants for the same opening.

Martindale spent 12 years coaching linebackers and one year as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos before becoming Baltimore’s defensive coordinator in 2018. His defenses utilized multiple fronts and tended to be among the most aggressive, blitz-heavy units in the NFL, counting on cornerbacks to hold up in man coverage on the outside. 

Desai is a Vic Fangio disciple who spent the last nine years in Chicago, working as a quality control assistant and safeties coach before being elevated to defensive coordinator last year. With a new coaching staff coming in, he will not remain with the Bears. He had also been considered a candidate for the Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive coordinator opening, though the job ultimately went to former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. 

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