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As teams look to interview Ravens’ top coordinators, Greg Roman and Don Martindale focus on bye week preparation

"God's fingerprints are all over this (season) in many, many ways and many many levels," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh about this season's 14-2 record.

One day after Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed the Cleveland Browns requested permission to interview offensive coordinator Greg Roman for their head coach opening, defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale confirmed the New York Giants have requested to interview him for their vacancy.

Martindale on Monday was reported to be “emerging as a top candidate” for head-coaching vacancies. At his weekly news conference Monday, Harbaugh said he was only aware of the Browns’ request but would honor all requests for his assistant coaches.

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Neither Martindale nor Roman would confirm Tuesday whether they had scheduled a date to interview with the Giants and Browns, respectively.

“It needs to be an opportunity of a lifetime,” Martindale said. “We love it here. We love this city. We love the culture here in the building. We love working for ‘Harbs’ and [owner Steve Bisciotti]. We’ll just look at every situation.

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“But out of fairness to all the other teams, I don’t even want to even get into that. We’re playing in a one-game playoff coming up. Once again, credit to the players. It’s because of the success of what the players did this year, and how well they played is why my name gets mentioned with those things.”

NFL rules allow interviews with assistant coaches for head-coaching positions during a team’s bye week. The Ravens will hold practice on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week as they wait to see who they will host Jan. 11 in the divisional round.

“The way you handle it is business as usual,” Harbaugh said Monday. “I don’t think nowadays that guys spend too much time putting together notebooks and preparing for interviews and all that. ... That’s who you are. You walk in there and you try to get to know each other and it doesn’t take too long.

“So they’ll be able to focus 100% on preparation and also take out a sliver of time and go do that, whatever is requested of them.”

Roman echoed Martindale’s sentiments, saying he was focused on preparing for the team’s upcoming opponent, who will be the lowest remaining seed in the divisional round.

“I think everything has its place. You’ve got to be able to compartmentalize,” Roman said. “That is something that is in its own box on the shelf, and when that opportunity comes, it will be addressed. Right now, as I said, we have three opponents that we’re getting ready for and [we’ve] got a lot of balls in the air, so to speak, for all you jugglers out there.

“My focus is certainly on our guys and our team and our offense and whatnot. In all due time, those things will be addressed.”

Extra points

>> Quarterback Lamar Jackson was one of nine players who were not at the open portion of the team’s Tuesday practice.

Running back Mark Ingram II, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, offensive linemen Ben Powers and James Hurst, defensive backs Brandon Carr and Jordan Richards, as well as defensive end Chris Wormley were also not at practice. Harbaugh on Monday said multiple players were battling the flu.

>> Roman said he was not worried about players dealing with rust in the divisional round after several starters did not play in Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“That’s what this week is for,” Roman said. “I really think with our guys, I’m not really concerned about that, to be very blunt. We want to have some really good practices this week, and I think that will serve the purpose of keeping our edge sharp. Now with our guys, no, they’re going to use this as a complete advantage.”

>> Martindale said safety Chuck Clark, who led the defense in the regular season with 68 tackles despite not starting the team’s first five games, has become “that [Eric] Weddle, that Magic Johnson of the defense.”

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Since taking over for injured veteran Tony Jefferson, Clark has taken over communication duties and played in all but one defensive snap.

“As far as the communicator, as far as the checks, as far as just the football smarts, he has become that Weddle, that Magic Johnson of the defense,” Martindale said. “Getting people lined up and setting them up to make plays, as well. He’s had a tremendous year and I’m really happy for him.”

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