Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale of the Giants looks on in the...

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale of the Giants looks on in the first half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, highly respected by players and teams around the NFL, is expected to resign after two of his assistants, brothers Drew and Kevin Wilkins, were fired by coach Brian Daboll on Monday.

As of Monday evening, the resignation had not yet become official.

Daboll said on Monday morning, “My expectation is that Wink and [offensive coordinator Mike] Kafka will both be back . . . There are still conversations to be had.”

Kafka is the lone coordinator expected to return to the staff.

There were rumblings during the season about tension between Daboll and Martindale. Fox’s Jay Glazer reported in Week 12 that Daboll and Martindale were “in a bad place.”

Daboll joked with the media after the Giants beat the Patriots, saying that the only time he and Martindale had argued was over the last doughnut.

The Eagles and Rams — the Giants’ most recent opponents — spoke with admiration of Martindale’s scheme.

The Giants players cleaned out their lockers after a 6-11 season knowing the room could look very different next season. Credit: Corey Sipkin

The Giants were tied with the Ravens — Martindale’s former team — for the most takeaways (31) and highest turnover differential (+12) in the NFL.

Martindale is popular among players and shared a bond with nose tackle Dexter Lawrence.

“He’s been a big help,” Lawrence said this past week. “That’s my guy. Honestly, he’s a coach of coaches. I know how he gets me to play and gets other players to play. He’s put me in position to win.

“He’s helped me a lot and he’s been scheming up pretty well. It sucks learning a new scheme, if that’s what happens. And he’s a leader of men. That’s what would be hard [to lose].”

Martindale said he was proud of Lawrence, especially because of how well he played after getting a big contract.

“I think Dex has stayed Dex since I’ve been here,” Martindale said. “He was a really good player before we got here and then he had a great year last year. He hasn’t changed his work ethic; he hasn’t changed anything about him. I think sometimes he might put too much pressure on himself, but that’s what all the great ones do. Like I said, I’m really happy for Dex.”

McGaughey, Johnson fired

Earlier Monday, the Giants fired special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, who had been with the Giants for the last six years and served in the role under three coaches.

Also on Monday morning, offensive line coach Bobby Johnson was fired by Daboll. The Giants’ offensive line has been an issue for years and through other coaching staffs. One could say that Johnson took on an enormous undertaking and failed, as others have before him.

In the 2023 season, left tackle Andrew Thomas missed seven games because of injury, including a hamstring strain he suffered in the season opener against Dallas. Evan Neal, whom Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen selected with the seventh overall draft pick in 2022, played in only seven games.

In Pro Football Focus’ most recent offensive line ratings, the Giants were ranked 29th, ahead of only Seattle, the Jets and Tennessee.

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