Don Martindale was open and honest about how he handled Tuesday's news regarding his candidacy for the Giants' head coach search.
New York hired New England Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge, as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed, leaving Martindale -- the Ravens' defensive coordinator -- on the outside looking in.
The Giants made the move not long after the Carolina Panthers hired Baylor head coach Matt Rhule. While the shuffle likely leaves Martindale out of the head coaching mix -- the Cleveland Browns are the only opening that remains -- he has a nice consolation prize in his Baltimore gig.
"It was a great experience -- it wasn't just a good one, it was a great one," Martindale said Wednesday. "They're good people there. I talked to (owner) John Mara and it went really well. The thing of it is, like I told you before the head coaching stuff came up, it would have to be a job -- that one-of-a-kind type job, not any job -- to leave this place because, as I said before, we have the best owner, we have the best head coach, we have the best personnel and, most importantly, we have the best group of players assembled in that locker room that lift each other up. When you prepare to go do something like that, for an interview, it's like you're playing on house money -- it really is -- because of how much we love it here. I also know that you can't just snap your fingers and create that type of culture that we have here now.
"But no, it was a great visit. I was telling my wife -- by the end of the interview, it was like I'm sitting there with John Mara looking down at the Four Seasons. It was just like going to ... play golf with Dave Fogel, by the end. It was really a good experience for me.
"Am I disappointed about it? Sure. I think that any time you interview for something, you obviously want to (get it). You have interest in that job. I'm not going to act like I didn't have interest in that job. But like I said, I feel like I was playing on house money -- and look where I'm still standing."
Martindale now channels the focus solely into the playoffs for the AFC North-champion Ravens (14-2), who host the Tennessee Titans (10-7) Saturday at 8:15 p.m. in the Divisional Round.
"It really wasn't (a distraction) because, like I said, it was on my day off," Martindale said. "So that was my reference to Fogel. We would've been out to (the golf course), if we could've been out there. But it wasn't a distraction because we worked last week on three different teams, so we've been prepared and we're ahead of it right now. So we're looking forward to this game on Saturday."
Under the guidance of Martindale, the Ravens' defense ranked third in points (17.6) and fourth in total yards (300.6) allowed per game. Martindale became Baltimore's defensive coordinator in 2018, leading the NFL's top-ranked unit at 292.9 total yards allowed per game.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (2008-present) promoted Martindale from linebackers coach (2012-17) after former defensive coordinator Dean Pees (2012-17) retired Jan. 1, 2018. Pees' retirement was short-lived, with him coming back to the Titans 28 days later as defensive coordinator.
Martindale's NFL experience includes stints as linebackers coach with the Oakland Raiders (2004-08) and Denver Broncos (2009). He was promoted to defensive coordinator for the Broncos in 2010, but joined Harbaugh's staff the following year as linebackers coach after Denver fired former head coach Josh McDaniels (2009-10).