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Falcons request permission to interview Teryl Austin

The Atlanta Falcons want to interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin for their vacant head coaching job.

Handout/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons fired head coach Mike Smith on Monday. This news didn't come as a big surprise considering how poorly the Falcons played this season, and it also isn't a big surprise that they're now reportedly interested in speaking with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Austin is expected to be a candidate for multiple head coaching jobs this offseason after turning the Lions defense into one of the best units in all of the NFL in his first year on the job. It's obviously unclear at this time if he will actually land a head coaching job, but the Lions have to be hoping that he sticks around for at least one more season as their defensive coordinator.

In any case, the Falcons and other teams won't be able to actually interview Austin until next week. This is because NFL rules stipulate that coordinators of teams involved in wild-card games can't be interviewed until the second week of the playoffs. Win or lose, Austin will likely speak with the Falcons next week, but for this week, his focus is solely on beating the Dallas Cowboys.

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