Teryl Austin is pursuing other coaching opportunities.
The Detroit Lions are in the midst of a head coaching search, but they may need to add a Defensive Coordinator to their job listings. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, current Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is traveling to Cincinnati to interview with the Bengals... for their defensive coordinator position:
I'm told Teryl Austin, who is still under contract as the #Lions defensive coordinator, will arrive in Cincy tomorrow to interview for the #Bengals defensive coordinator position, per source.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 5, 2018
It’s not that often you see coaches make a lateral move like this, but it’s not all that odd in this situation. Lions general manager Bob Quinn has already said that whoever is hired to be the next head coach will have full control of building the entire coaching staff.
Austin may see the writing on the wall, given that he is just one of seven different candidates for the head coaching job. And considering five of those seven candidates have a defensive background, it seems unlikely that Austin will stick around if he does not earn the head coaching gig.
From Austin’s point of view, there’s no downside to covering his bases. There’s a very good chance he’ll be out of a job in Detroit in just a few weeks, so it would make sense for him to at least see what else is out there.
As for the Lions, it would undoubtedly be a bit of a loss. Austin had once built a top-five defense back in 2014 with the help of players like Ndamukong Suh and DeAndre Levy. He wasn’t able to recreate the same success with a much less talented roster, but he is still highly regarded by both his players and his peers in the NFL.