Teryl Austin is back on the defensive coordinator radar. The Titans have interviewed the veteran assistant for a DC role, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Working with the Steelers the past two years, Austin served as a defensive coordinator from 2014-18 — with the Lions and Bengals. He has coached the Pittsburgh secondary, while helping Mike Tomlin with game management, over the past two seasons.
Although the Titans held the Ravens to 20 points and registered five sacks in Sunday’s loss, they finished as the NFL’s worst third-down defense and recorded just 19 sacks this season. Following Dean Pees‘ retirement, Tennessee went without a true defensive coordinator this year. Outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen called defensive plays. Mike Vrabel referred to Bowen as a de facto defensive coordinator, but the team is interested in more experience on its defensive staff.
Austin’s 2014 Detroit defense fared quite well, ranking third in scoring and second in yards allowed. After Ndamukong Suh‘s Miami move, however, Detroit’s unit fell off in the years that followed. Austin resurfaced in Cincinnati under Marvin Lewis in 2018, but the Bengals fired him prior to that season’s conclusion.
Interestingly, Austin has met with the Titans previously. The team interviewed him for its then-vacant head coaching position, which ended up going to Mike Mularkey, in 2016.
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