By: Will Burchfield
While the Lions may well retain their offensive coordinator, it appears their defensive coordinator is on his way out.
Teryl Austin is closing in on a deal with the Bengals to take over their defense, per Ian Rapoport. He’s also reportedly in discussions with the Raiders to become an assistant head coach under the recently-hired Jon Gruden.
Either way, it appears Austin is as good as gone.
He’s been Detroit’s defensive coordinator each of the last four years. He excelled in his first season, 2014, and has since garnered lots of head-coaching interest.
He interviewed for the Lions’ vacancy last week after the team fired Jim Caldwell, but Detroit appears set on hiring Patriots defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia. General manager Bob Quinn said the Lions’ next head coach will have full autonomy in assembling his staff.
It’s likely Austin sees the writing on the wall.
The Lions allowed the 12th most points and the 6th most yards in the league this season, but Austin was playing with a compromised deck.
“I think on defense we need to add some pieces,” said Quinn. “I think our coaches here did a good job this year piecing it together. The personnel wasn’t perfect, and that’s why I said at the beginning the record’s on me.”
On the other side of the ball, Detroit’s offensive coordinator, Jim Bob Cooter, appears safe after Matthew Stafford vouched for his return. Still, only time will tell.