5.9k Share this

Jihad Ward is hoping to earn the nod from Wink.

The Giants signed Ward as their first edge rusher added during free agency, thinking that reuniting the former second-round draft pick with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale might generate cost-efficient production at a position of significant need.

“I wanted to go somewhere they’re going to make me feel loose, and Wink is one of those coaches where basically he’s going to make me extend my career being the best that I can be,” Ward said Monday from Giants headquarters. “Wink is one of the coaches that did a hell of a job with me when I was a Raven, so I’m here now and ready to win some games.”

By totaling four sacks over 21 games for the Ravens in 2019-20, the 27-year-old Ward earned a one-year $2.5 million free-agent contract with the Jaguars. He added two more sacks and 17 pressures on 457 defensive snaps — his most since 636 as a rookie with the Raiders — in 17 games.

Ravens defensive end Jihad Ward (53) sacks Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Baltimore.
Ravens defensive end Jihad Ward (53) sacks Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in 2020.
AP

“I can bring a lot to the team,” Ward said. “The most important thing I can bring to the table is just trying to win games, dominating the edge and then dominating the D-line. I believe that I can be one of the best up there and one of the top-tier D-linemen. So, when you play the Giants, the D-line is going to be one that’s mentioned.”

The Giants’ primary investments on their defensive line are a pair of tackles — former first-round pick Dexter Lawrence and former Pro Bowler Leonard Williams — who account for $31.5 million on the 2022 salary cap. Edge rusher has been a wasteland (Markus Golden’s 10-sack season in 2019 excluded) ever since Jason Pierre-Paul was traded and the Giants switched to a 3-4 base front in 2018.

Martindale inherited outside linebackers Azeez Ojulari and Quincy Roche after promising rookie seasons. But if Martindale is going to install his style — his Ravens led the league in blitz percentage in three of the last four seasons — then depth and fresh legs are important.

Then-Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale watches from the sideline during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Cincinnati.
Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale looks on from the sideline with the Ravens last season.
AP

“Basically, just coming in with that aggression,” Ward said of Martindale’s philosophy. “You don’t know when we’re going to come. That’s his type of style. We’re going to come at you.”

Sounds easy. It’s not. Even for Ward, who says he can line up at any position across the front.

“The only thing is with the rest of the D-line that’s here, we’ve just got to basically understand its different types of fronts,” Ward said. “It’s quite difficult for us, and we’ll change the scheme up based on whatever the personnel is. It’s going to be a lot of [creating] confusion and versatility.”

Ward grew up as an Eagles fan in Philadelphia, but his football development started at the now-defunct Global Institute of Technology, located on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue. He took the bus, ferry and subway from his housing to pick up equipment to practice — all worth it when his junior-college film was noticed by a recruiter at Illinois.

“It was part of being a grown man,” Ward said. “That’s the way I describe it. It took me three hours every day to go to school, so it’s quite different now that I have a little bit of funds. Everything’s more difficult when you have no money. So, when I come back here, I just think about those times like, ‘Damn, I really made it out of here doing two years of that.’ I’m going to forever like it here, though. I’m glad to be back.”

Source: NYPOST

5.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Couple who live in £600,000 Cotswolds home become Britain’s biggest-EVER EuroMillions winners

A couple who live in a £600,000 Cotswolds home with ponies and…
City Council committee to vote on Chicago casino plan, which has some neighbors thinking of selling condos and leaving

City Council committee to vote on Chicago casino plan, which has some neighbors thinking of selling condos and leaving

CHICAGO (CBS) — A big vote is coming Friday morning for…
Arnold Bennett, (pictured) who died in 1931, published 124 books, but is only remembered because he is an omelette, still on the menu at the Savoy. Patrick Donovan's new book reveals that by 1912 Arnold Bennett was earning today¿s equivalent of £1.8million a year purely through journalism and writing

Arnold Bennett was snubbed by literary society and Virginia Woolf likened him to a bootmaker

BOOK OF THE WEEK ARNOLD BENNETT: LOST ICON by Patrick Donovan (Unicorn £25,…
Hunter Biden served on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma. The Justice Department cleared Blue Star Strategies, which acknowledged doing work for the firm in 2016 in the U.S.

Biden’s Department of Justice CLEARS lobbying firm linked to Hunter Biden

Biden’s Department of Justice CLEARS lobbying firm linked to Hunter Biden and…
Traveling this summer? Vacation packages, flights are more expensive; how you can save some money

Traveling this summer? Vacation packages, flights are more expensive; how you can save some money

CHICAGO (WLS) — After being cooped up for several years due to…
Skokie puts Carvana's vending tower on hold amid license issues

Skokie puts Carvana’s vending tower on hold amid license issues

Skokie puts Carvana’s vending tower on hold amid license issues – CBS…
Chicago shooting: CPD officer shoots, critically injures carjacking suspect, 13, near Cicero, Chicago Avenue on West Side

Chicago shooting: CPD officer shoots, critically injures carjacking suspect, 13, near Cicero, Chicago Avenue on West Side

CHICAGO (WLS) — A Chicago police officer shot and critically injured a…
Arson investigation underway after explosion damages parked cars in Humboldt Park

Arson investigation underway after explosion damages parked cars in Humboldt Park

CHICAGO (CBS)– An arson investigation is underway after an explosion in Humboldt…