Jim Caldwell comments on newly-hired coaches Teryl Austin and Bill Sheridan

Posted Jan 17, 2014

Caldwell comments on his new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach

On the hire of defensive coordinator Teryl Austin: "Well, you know, Teryl, first of all, loves the game of football and has a real good understanding of both the back end of it, talking about in the secondary where he's coached for a number of years, but then also the front of it as well - linebackers, their positioning, their fits and also obviously up front. He's a very good teacher, an instructor, has a great passion for it. He's demanding and that's the reason why, obviously, I think he'll be a great fit.

"And then you look at his background, you know, he had an opportunity to work within the scheme of a defense that was tremendous. He did a great job in both stopping the run and can really give you some difficulties in terms of defending the pass. He's worked at some different systems. He's also been a coordinator himself. He was at Florida and then also he worked with the Cardinals for a number of years and certainly a number of years in college football.

"So, a talented guy that I think the guys are going to absolutely love. They're going to love him not only because of the fact that he's a great communicator and a great person to be around, but he brings a lot of energy and he's very demanding."

On Austin's experience coaching defensive backs: "Well, it makes it a great fit in that regard because of the fact that he knows and understands that part of it intimately well. His expertise, obviously, I think covers the gamut, both up front and in the perimeter, but the perimeter is where he spent a great majority of his time and he's certainly going to be able to help. But we're also, obviously, going to be hiring a secondary coach at some point in time and, obviously, it will be someone that can also relate and do a great job of coaching."

On the hiring of linebackers coach Bill Sheridan: "Bill Sheridan is a guy of immense talent and experience. When you look at him, he's been a coordinator in this league. He's certainly coached linebackers, he's worked in multiple systems and has a real clear understanding of defensive football. He's a Michigan guy, but a guy who I think can really give us some balance. We have some experience and we have some guys that maybe can give us an opportunity to kind of work in concert with some of our youthful exuberance."

On Sheridan's previous experience as a defensive coordinator: "Well, I think what it does is anytime you have extensive amount of experience in this league, it's worth its weight in gold. It's not absolute because I came from the college ranks and had no experience in this league and coached the quarterbacks at Tampa and it didn't bother Tony (Dungy) at all during that time. So I just think it depends on the person. But yeah, it does lend you to believe he's seen every team probably in the league, understands most concepts that he's going to see, how to defend them and things of that nature. So yeah, I certainly do feel good about his experience."