Earlier this week, we found out that the Atlanta Falcons requested permission from the Detroit Lions to interview defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. It turns out that they're not the only team interested in Austin, though. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell talked on Thursday about the possibility of Austin getting a head coaching job, and he revealed that more than one team has expressed interest in interviewing the Lions' defensive coordinator.
Caldwell said more than one team has reached out about interviewing Austin. Wouldn't say who else requested permission.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 1, 2015
In addition to the Falcons, the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers are currently looking for a new head coach. Austin's name hasn't been connected to any of the non-Atlanta openings just yet, but clearly at least one of those teams has contacted the Lions about interviewing him.
Considering there is so much uncertainty with all of these coaching vacancies, it's tough to tell at this point just how likely or unlikely it is that Austin will land one of these jobs. However, it is worth noting that Caldwell is quite confident in his defensive coordinator.
Jim Caldwell praising DC Teryl Austin as a head coaching candidate: "I think he's going to get one."— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) January 1, 2015
Caldwell on Austin on being a head coach: "I hope it happens for him because he’s deserving of it, he’s a quality coach"— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 1, 2015
I'm sure the Lions would prefer to not have to find a new defensive coordinator after the job Austin has done this season, but it seems like a real possibility with multiple teams interested in him. Only time will tell if he ends up landing a head coaching gig in the next few weeks, but clearly the Lions are bracing for a scenario where he's not in Detroit beyond this season.
UPDATE: According to Austin, the 49ers are the other team that has requested permission to interview him.