The Baltimore Ravens have a history of cultivating coaches on the defensive side of the ball who go on to become head coaches themselves, and Don "Wink" Martindale is being looked at in that regard by other teams right now. Martindale, in his first season as Baltimore's defensive play caller, is leading a group that's statistically at the top of the NFL in many categories despite its advanced age and lack of star power, which has raised his profile both with the Ravens and beyond.
With head coach John Harbaugh's future in Baltimore still in limbo, Martindale could garner consideration in Baltimore should owner Steve Bisciotti opt not to give Harbaugh a lucrative extension and move on from the coach, as he has publicly ruminated on in the past. Sources said other NFL position coaches are expressing interest in joining any potential Martindale staff.
Martindale worked previously as a defensive coordinator under Josh McDaniels in Denver, and he has displayed a creatively aggressive style with the Ravens this season, using wits to overcome the lack of speed and playmakers on that side of the ball. It has not gone unnoticed, with Martindale and Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio getting growing consideration from NFL front offices who are not averse to going with a defensive head coach and are mulling coaching changes.
Back in 2011, Chuck Pagano went from calling plays for Baltimore's defense for the first time to becoming head coach of the Colts in 2012. Rex Ryan (Jets), Mike Pettine (Browns), Mike Singletary (49ers), Mike Nolan (49ers), Jim Schwartz (Lions), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Mike Smith (Falcons) and Jack Del Rio (Jaguars and Raiders) are other former assistant coaches on defense or defensive coordinator of the Ravens to go on to become an NFL head coach.
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