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Keith Butler Expects Teryl Austin to be Next Steelers Defensive Coordinator



Teryl Austin

Hours after Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler announced his retirement over the weekend, it had already been reported that senior defensive assistant Teryl Austin was likely to take over the job by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

Despite the Steelers asking permission to interview New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Kris Richard in the meantime, it still looks like Austin will end up getting the job.

Butler said in an interview on Monday that he believes Tomlin will give the opportunity to Austin, who was defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Steelers’ staff in 2019.

“I’m pretty sure that Teryl Austin is going to get a good chance of being the coordinator here,” Butler said to 93.7 The Fan on Monday. “Teryl does a good job and he did a good job of helping me in terms of laying out the game plan and stuff like that. We did that. We laid out the game plan as position coaches and I did. We got together and did all that stuff and then Mike would put his two cents in in terms of what we wanted to do and what we were going to try to do. That’s how we did it and I think it worked out for the most part. It’ll continue to do that, I’m sure.”

Tomlin has rarely gone outside the organization when making coordinator hires. He promoted Butler from linebackers coach in 2015. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada was promoted from quarterbacks coach before the 2021 season, as was his predecessor Randy Fichtner before the 2018 season. Only Todd Haley, who was hired in 2012, was brought in from outside the organization.

In addition to his time as the Steelers’ senior defensive assistant, Austin has long ties to the area. A Sharon, Pa. native, Austin was a three-year starting defensive back at Pitt. After one year of pro football, he got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1991.

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