Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is set to interview with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. This is going to be his second interview with the team, and it was pushed up a day after the New York Jets hired Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles was originally set to have a second interview with the Falcons as well, but he ended up taking the Jets job instead.
With the Falcons losing one of their perceived finalists, Austin jumped to the front of the pack with his second interview being scheduled for Wednesday. Having a second interview doesn't mean he's guaranteed to get the job, though, and ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is actually the favorite to land the Falcons gig right now.
With Todd Bowles landing in NY, Seahawks DC Dan Quinn is now the favorite to land the Falcons HC job, per league sources. Atlanta is interviewing Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin today, and he will have his chance to impress the Falcons, and try to change their minds and anything is possible. But sources close to and familiar with the Falcons’ situation believe Atlanta is willing to wait for Quinn, and Quinn is willing to wait for them, and he is the leading contender at this time to become the Falcons’ next head coach.
If Austin impresses the Falcons in his second interview, Atlanta could just offer him the job now instead of waiting around for Quinn to become available. The Falcons wouldn't have to wait until next week to speak to Quinn again, and if the Seahawks advance to the Super Bowl, they wouldn't have to wait until February to officially hire their new head coach.
The flip side is that if the Falcons prefer Quinn and don't mind being patient, chances are Austin will not get the job, at least not right now. It's always possible that the Falcons could wait around for Quinn and he could take another job (i.e. the Denver Broncos gig), and perhaps Austin would then become the top candidate, but Quinn seems to be the frontrunner at this point.
Of course, even if Austin doesn't land the Falcons job, he could be hired as a head coach elsewhere. The San Francisco 49ers are still without a coach and have already interviewed Austin, and the Broncos reportedly want to speak to him as well. And then there's the Chicago Bears, which just interviewed Austin on Tuesday. It sounds like former Broncos head coach John Fox is going to end up in Chicago, but things can change pretty quickly in coaching searches.