Last week, there were reports that both the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers had put in requests to interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. However, because the Lions were still in the playoffs, Austin was not going to take time away from his preparation to meet with those teams for a head coaching position.
Now that the Lions are out of the playoff hunt, Austin is free to pursue any interview he’d like, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that’s exactly what he’ll do:
Now that Detroit is eliminated from playoffs, Lions DC Teryl Austin will interview with Chargers and Rams, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2017
Austin has caught the eye of several franchises over the past two years, earning interviews with the Bills, Falcons and 49ers among others. Yet each time his promotion seemed imminent, he was eventually passed over.
While Austin clearly has respect among his colleagues in the league, it’ll be interesting to see how his performance in 2016 will influence his chances to earn that promotion. The Lions finished the regular season dead last in defensive DVOA and their low-scoring defense evaporated when the Lions faced the likes of the Packers, Cowboys and Seahawks. Still, personnel issues were real, and many believed Austin did all that he could with the hand he was dealt.
If Austin were to make the jump to Los Angeles or San Diego, he would have some young, exciting defensive talent at his disposal. Rams’ Aaron Donald is already a star in this league, while Chargers’ Joey Bosa looks to be well on his way. We saw what Austin could do with a player like Ndamukong Suh, so those two destinations could be just what Austin needs to take the next step in his coaching career.