In surprise, Ravens fire defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale after disappointing season

The Ravens have fired defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, a surprising shakeup that comes less than two weeks after the end of a disappointing season.

In a statement the Ravens released Friday, coach John Harbaugh said that he and Martindale, who had one year remaining on his contract in Baltimore, had “agreed to move forward in separate directions.”

“We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done,” Harbaugh added in the statement. “Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities. Sometimes the moment comes, and it’s the right time.”

Martindale’s dismissal is the first domino to fall in an offseason that could reshape the Ravens’ defense, which struggled throughout a disappointing 8-9 season. The team allowed 369.8 yards per game over its season-ending six-game losing streak, which sank the Ravens’ playoff hopes after an 8-3 start.

Martindale, a beloved coach among players and one of the NFL’s most aggressive play-callers, had served under Harbaugh since 2012. After coaching the team’s linebackers for six years, he took over as defensive coordinator for Dean Pees in January 2018.

From 2018 to 2020, the Ravens had one of the NFL’s highest-paid and highest-performing defenses, ranking in the top 10 in overall efficiency each year, according to Football Outsiders. In Martindale’s first three years as coordinator, the Ravens led the league in scoring average (18.2 points per game allowed) and total defense (307.8 yards per game) and tied for first in defensive touchdowns (12).

“In our [defensive] room, the way he speaks to us, talks to us and just relates with us, it translates to how we play for him,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said last January. “We have a lot of different packages, different things guys can do, all kinds of stuff, and he makes sure everybody knows that. He puts everybody in position to play at their strengths.”

This year, however, injuries and inconsistency, especially in their well-regarded secondary, led to a precipitous fall. The Ravens finished 28th overall in DVOA, their lowest ranking since the franchise’s first year in Baltimore. They also had the NFL’s worst pass defense; their 278.9 yards allowed per game were an NFL high and franchise record.

Martindale, who’d endeared himself …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Truckers say an electronic device that measures the hours they drive each day sometimes leaves them stranded just 30 minutes from home

Truckers are paid based on mileage but they’re only allowed to drive for 11 hours each day.
Electronic devices record how long they drive for — but truckers say these can be too restrictive.
The limits could leave them stranded 30 minutes from home or stuck in a high-crime area, they say.

It wasn’t low wages, long hours, or a lack of benefits that drove Brian Pape out of the trucking industry.

Instead, it was a tiny device that measured how many hours he drove each day and told him when to stop.

“That was it for me,” Pape told Insider. “I sold my equipment and I was gone.”

Truckers are allowed to work for up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours driving. They can’t do this all in one go: after eight hours of consecutive driving, they need to take a 30-minute break.

These regulations have been in place for years but in 2017 the DOT scrapped the use of paper logs written by truckers and instead mandated electronic logging devices, known as E-Logs, that track when truckers drive and take breaks.

Truckers largely say they’re in favor of the hours-of-service regulations but that E-Logs were sometimes too strict and left drivers stranded close to home or a truck stop.

“If you’re 30 minutes from home and you get to your 11 hours, you must shut down or else you get an automatic hours-of-service violation,” Pape said. This incurs a fine and could jeopardize a trucker’s license.

Indiana trucker Mark Rumps runs his Geotab E-Log software on a Samsung tablet.

Pape said that prior to the introduction of E-Logs he sometimes exceeded the 11-hour limit by around an hour to reach a certain destination, but never “to a dangerous level.” Other truckers made similar comments to Insider.

Mark Rumps, an Indiana trucker who runs the YouTube channel Trucking Answers, said that some companies even deliberately avoided using E-Logs by buying and refurbishing trucks with engines manufactured in 2000 or earlier because these are exempt from E-Logs.

Pape said just two weeks using E-Logs convinced him to quit driving after around 13 years.

Other truckers have been leaving the industry over low pay, long hours, and bad treatment from trucking companies, which has caused chaos across the supply chain.

Colorado-based trucker Brian Stauffer said E-Logs were one of the reasons why …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

Israeli firm develops an infantry drone that can fire machine guns and sniper rifles at targets while flying

Smart Shooter’s SMASH Dragon allows rifles to be mounted on drones.

An Israeli company has developed an armed drone system that can fire infantry weapons while flying.
The Smash Dragon can strike static and moving targets while hovering above.
The next-generation fighting drone was designed by the company Smart Shooter.

An Israeli arms manufacturer has developed a robot weapon that can fire infantry weapons at static and moving targets while flying.

The Smash Dragon, designed by Israeli company Smart Shooter, can be mounted on different forms of unmanned aerial platforms, such as drones, and can strike targets while hovering over them.

An assault or sniper rifle can be mounted to the system and remotely triggered by an operator.

The weapon is “extremely lightweight” and uses a “unique stabilization concept,” which allows it to precisely hit targets no matter how fast the drone is traveling, the company said in a press release shared with Insider.

The system has sophisticated computer vision capabilities and works during the day and the night.

The SMASH Dragon has completed successful live firing tests and is in the advanced stages of development but is not yet operational, the company said.

The system will utilize the company’s Smash 2000 technology, which uses built-in targeting algorithms to track and strike targets with precision.

The technology has been used to take down Hamas drones and incendiary balloons launched from Gaza, The Jerusalem Post previously reported.

“Smart Shooter’s SMASH technology offers precise elimination of threats at ground, air, and sea,” Smart Shooter CEO Michal Mor said in a statement shared with Insider.

“We are now happy to offer the same precise, combat-proven target engagement technology mounted on an unmanned aerial platform that can be controlled from a distance,” he said. 

Mor said it was critical to keep the system lightweight as weight impacts mission endurance and cost when it comes to drones.

Read the original article on Business Insider

…read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

In surprise, Ravens fire defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale after disappointing season

The Ravens have fired defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, a surprising shakeup that comes less than two weeks after the end of a disappointing season.

In a statement the Ravens released Friday, coach John Harbaugh said that he and Martindale, who had one year remaining on his contract in Baltimore, had “agreed to move forward in separate directions.”

“We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done,” Harbaugh added in the statement. “Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities. Sometimes the moment comes, and it’s the right time.”

Martindale’s dismissal is the first domino to fall in an offseason that could reshape the Ravens’ defense, which struggled throughout a disappointing 8-9 season. The team allowed 369.8 yards per game over its season-ending six-game losing streak, which sank the Ravens’ playoff hopes after an 8-3 start.

Martindale, a beloved coach among players and one of the NFL’s most aggressive play-callers, had served under Harbaugh since 2012. After coaching the team’s linebackers for six years, he took over as defensive coordinator for Dean Pees in January 2018.

From 2018 to 2020, the Ravens had one of the NFL’s highest-paid and highest-performing defenses, ranking in the top 10 in overall efficiency each year, according to Football Outsiders. In Martindale’s first three years as coordinator, the Ravens led the league in scoring average (18.2 points per game allowed) and total defense (307.8 yards per game) and tied for first in defensive touchdowns (12).

“In our [defensive] room, the way he speaks to us, talks to us and just relates with us, it translates to how we play for him,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said last January. “We have a lot of different packages, different things guys can do, all kinds of stuff, and he makes sure everybody knows that. He puts everybody in position to play at their strengths.”

This year, however, injuries and inconsistency, especially in their well-regarded secondary, led to a precipitous fall. The Ravens finished 28th overall in DVOA, their lowest ranking since the franchise’s first year in Baltimore. They also had the NFL’s worst pass defense; their 278.9 yards allowed per game were an NFL high and franchise record.

Martindale, who’d endeared himself …read more

Source:: The Mercury News