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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Change was inevitable with the Ravens defense. It just wasn’t expected to start with Don Martindale – The Athletic

It was widely expected this offseason that the Ravens defense would undergo a significant facelift. But the first change of what figures to be several was a jarring one.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced Friday evening that he was parting ways with defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, who has been on his staff since the Super Bowl-winning season in 2012

“After several productive conversations, Don and I have agreed to move forward in separate directions,” Harbaugh said in a statement released by the team. “We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done. Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities. Sometimes the moment comes, and it’s the right time. I am personally grateful for our friendship and for everything he has done in Baltimore.”

Harbaugh and the Ravens brain trust are in the Bahamas at organizational meetings hosted by owner Steve Bisciotti. The announcement comes when the Ravens are beginning their offseason planning after a disappointing campaign in which the team lost its final six games to go from first place in the conference to last place in the AFC North.

Neither Harbaugh nor Martindale was immediately available for comment, and Harbaugh has yet to speak to the media since the season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 9. It was widely speculated that pending changes to the coaching staff had delayed Harbaugh’s season-ending news conference. Still, Martindale’s dismissal with one year remaining on his contract comes as a moderate surprise.

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