While rumors continue to swirl about the Detroit Lions’ next head coach, it’s beginning to look like they will also have to be searching for a new defensive coordinator. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has begun negotiations with the Cincinnati Bengals for their defensive coordinator opening:
But it’s far from a done deal, according to Rapoport. In fact, Austin is still reportedly in the mix for the Lions’ head coaching job—which he interviewed for last Tuesday.
UPDATE: The Detroit News’ Justin Rogers is also reporting that Austin is closing in on a deal with the Bengals.
But considering it’s becoming more and more likely that the Lions hire Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia for the head coaching position—as reported by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio—it seems more than likely that Austin is on his way out and headed to Cincinnati.
Austin first joined the team as part of Jim Caldwell’s original staff in 2014. In his first year, he helped construct one of the most feared defenses in the league. However, as the talent started to slip away, Austin couldn’t keep his defense competitive, and he started to lose favor in Detroit.
If Patricia is indeed the Lions’ next head coach, it’s almost certain he’ll have to bring in a new guy to run the defense. Considering Patricia is a defensive-minded coach, he’ll likely have someone in mind immediately.