Teryl Austin has long been considered a head coaching candidate in the NFL. In his four seasons as the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator, Austin has garnered several interviews for a job, but has yet to land one.
It appears 2018 will be no different, as Austin will apparently interview for the in-house job vacated by Jim Caldwell, according to ESPN Josina Anderson:
Source: #Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is interviewing for the team's head coaching vacancy on Tuesday.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 1, 2018
UPDATE: Austin has confirmed with FOX 2 Detroit’s Jennifer Hammond that he will indeed interview for the job.
Austin’s tenure as the Lions’ defensive coordinator has had its ups and downs. When loaded with talent like Ndamukong Suh, DeAndre Levy, and Nick Fairley in 2014, Austin orchestrated one of the best defenses in the league—ranking third in both defensive DVOA and points allowed.
Since then, however, the Lions have struggled to sport even an average defense. Hamstrung by a lack of pass rush, the Lions have ranked 16th, 32nd and 21st in defensive DVOA in the three seasons after Suh left for Miami.
Still, Austin has managed to keep a reputation as a brilliant defensive mind, and he’s been able to mostly keep Detroit’s head above water despite an increasingly weak defensive roster.