The San Francisco 49ers are adding another name to the list of interview options. Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin told the media the 49ers and Falcons have both requested an interview with him, according to Albert Breer. The teams cannot interview Austin until after wild card weekend. The Lions travel to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Win or lose, Austin would be available next week for an interview. If the Lions win, a second interview would not be available until they lost, or were in the bye week before the Super Bowl. If the Lions lose, anything is available at that point.
Austin is a first year defensive coordinator, and has helped turn the Lions defense into the third ranked unit, according to Football Outsiders. Previously, Austin was secondary coach in Baltimore from 2011-2013, and defensive coordinator at Florida in 2010. He coached defensive backs in Arizona from 2007-2009, and in Seattle from 2003-2006. Prior to that he worked as a defensive assistant at the college level from 1991-2002.
Pride of Detroit put together some quick thoughts on Austin:
Austin has taken the Lions' defense to the top of the NFL from a rankings standpoint this season. Despite having much of the same talent as Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham in previous years, the Lions haven't had a defense quite as dominant as this one in quite some time.
Austin came to the Lions after most recently serving as the Ravens' secondary coach. He held the same job with the Cardinals and Seahawks earlier in his career, and he actually went to the Super Bowl with all three of those teams. He also served as Florida's defensive coordinator for a year in between NFL stops.