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Ravens Promote LB Coach Don “Wink” Martindale to Be the Teams’ New Defensive Coordinator

Continuing the Ravens pattern of elevating position coaches into the role, coach John Harbaugh has promoted linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale to fill the defensive coordinator vacancy created with last week’s retirement of Dean Pees, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.

“’Wink’ has earned the promotion to defensive coordinator,” Harbaugh said in a statement released by the team. “His aggressive mentality will serve to take our defense to new levels. He is obviously respected by players, many of whom have already benefited from his direct coaching at the linebacker position. He knows the ins and outs of what we have been about on defense and has been an important contributor to our success on that side of the ball. This is an exciting da for Wink and his family, and also one for the Ravens.”

The decision comes after Harbaugh had spoken to several high-profile candidates, including former Ravens defensive coordinator and Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. It was widely believed Pagano, who ran the Ravens defense in 2011, was one of Harbaugh’s top candidates. However, it never was certain that Pagano would want to jump immediately back into coaching after he was fired by the Colts last week after his sixth season at the helm.

Martindale, 54, has been on Harbaugh’s staff as a position coach since the team’s Super Bowl-winning season in 2012 and has been instrumental in the development of young linebackers C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr and Matthew Judon. Orr, who was forced into retirement because of a congenital neck/spine condition and worked with Martindale in coaching the team’s linebackers this past season, said last year that Martindale is one of the best teachers the Ravens have in the organization.

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