Blake Martinez's initiation to the New York Giants will be anything but typical.
With the NFL's offseason programs up in the air due to the coronavirus outbreak, the newly signed linebacker knows it will be harder for him to jell with his new teammates. But he also sees the positives in the challenge they're all facing.
"Obviously the main disadvantage is, for me, and all of us as a team is just getting to know each other, building that camaraderie within a new unit for the 2020 season, working together," Martinez told WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Tuesday. "Because I feel like that's where the biggest disadvantage is, is earning that respect within one another, seeing everybody work so hard to achieve greatness moving into the next season.
"But I think overall it will be good for us to learn how to adapt in strange situations," the former Packers middle linebacker added. "And I think in the end, it'll help us grow as a team."
Martinez, who agreed to a three-year, $30.75 million contract earlier this month, said he signed with the Giants because they had a young, talented team and made it clear that they valued him. But he said being reunited with new Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who was the Packers' linebackers coach in 2018, was an added perk.
"He's an awesome coach," Martinez said. "I had an amazing time with him my third year with the Packers and learned a lot of great things from him, and I'm excited to work with him again."
Martinez has earned a reputation for being a "tackling machine" after averaging 148 tackles over the past three seasons. He said he welcomes that tag.
"I want to be a guy that's making play, that's doing everything he can do to help his team win," Martinez said. "And I think for me, I'm a guy who's intellectual, that's physical, that won't stop getting better, and he wants to keep thriving and keep working to be the best no matter what. And if I have a hundred tackles, I want a hundred and one."