NEWS

A Closer Look: Teryl Austin

Posted Jan 2, 2018

Tim Twentyman and Mike O’Hara take a closer look at head coaching candidate Teryl Austin.

Teryl Austin

Current job: Detroit Lions defensive coordinator, 2014-present.

NFL job log: Coached defensive backs for three teams: Seattle Seahawks (2003-06), Arizona Cardinals (2007-09) and Baltimore Ravens (2011-13).

Detroit connection: Austin has a long, strong relationship with former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. They were on the Ravens’ staff together for two seasons (2012-13). The 2011 team won the Super Bowl. In college, Austin was at Wake Forest during Caldwell’s tenure as head coach. He began his coaching career at Penn State as a graduate assistant in 1991-92 when Caldwell was quarterbacks coach.

Specialty: Austin’s defenses in Detroit were known for takeaways and not giving up big plays. They forced offenses to string together long drives to score. Despite sustaining key injuries to the front four, the 2017 defense ranked third in the league with 32 takeaways and was tied for No. 2 with 13 fumble recoveries.

Career highlight: The 2014 Lions ranked second in the league overall in allowing 300.9 yards per game and No. 1 in rushing yards, with a franchise record of 69.3.

Mike O’Hara’s take: In Detroit he had a well earned reputation for working through injuries to patch together competitive defenses. Much like Caldwell, he operates with an even keel, which players appreciate. Whether being on the staff with a departed head coach helps or hurts him remains to be seen.

Tim Twentyman’s take: The Lions defensive coordinator the last four years has been a head coaching candidate in each of the last three offseasons. Austin is well respected around the league for his defensive mind and his use of multiple sub packages. Bob Quinn has to have a pretty good idea what kind of head coach Austin would make after working alongside him the last two seasons.