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Report: Steelers to Re-Sign DC Teryl Austin to New Contract

The Pittsburgh Steelers are retaining defensive coordinator Teryl Austin with a new two-year extension.



Pittsburgh Steelers DC Teryl Austin
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers are working to retain defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on a new two-year contract extension, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports. That means that Pittsburgh will not have two coordinator changes this season; instead, they will keep Austin while they search for an offensive coordinator.

A Sharon native and Pitt alum, Austin returned to his roots when he became the Steelers’ secondary coach and senior defensive assistant in 2019. He performed that role for three years under defensive coordinator Keith Butler, and when Butler retired after the 2021 season, Austin was promoted to defensive coordinator to replace him.

It’s a role that he’s filled previously, with the Detroit Lions from 2014-17 and Cincinnati Bengals in 2018.

The results under Austin have been mixed. The Steelers finished his first season in 2022 10th in scoring defense, 14th in yards allowed, 20th in pass defense, 9th in run defense, and 14th in turnovers, and did all of that while reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt missed seven games with a torn pec.

In 2023, the Steelers improved in scoring defense, moving up to sixth in the NFL, but took a step back in other areas. They finished 21st in yards allowed, 17th in pass defense and 19th in run defense. They moved up to 10th in takeaways. Again, the Steelers’ defense was beset by key injuries, with Cam Heyward missing six games, Minkah Fitzpatrick missing seven games and Watt sitting out for the team’s playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

With Austin’s future uncertain, he was listed as a potential candidate for the Syracuse head coaching job earlier this season but did not even take an interview there. But now, it seems he will be back in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future, guiding the defense along with Mike Tomlin, who has a big say in it with his defensive coaching background.