The Steelers are expected to promote secondary coach and defensive assistant Teryl Austin to the position of defensive coordinator, Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports.
Steelers are expected to promote senior defensive assistant and secondary coach Teryl Austin to defensive coordinator post vacated by Keith Butler retirement, according to a league source @PFN365
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 22, 2022
This makes plenty of sense for the Steelers to do from a historical standpoint. They have largely promoted from within. Randy Fichtner, Matt Canada, Keith Butler, and now Teryl Austin are in-house promotions for the team. Austin joined the Steelers in 2019, and his mark on the secondary has largely been felt.
Previously a defensive coordinator in Detroit and Cincinnati, Austin’s defensive coordinator career has been up and down, to say the least. There are great highs and the lowest of lows.
In 2014, Austin helped lead Detroit to an 11-5 record. The Lions finished second in the NFL in points allowed per game and Austin was a buzzing head coaching candidate. The years that followed cloudy, to a degree. Austin’s led defenses would rank 23rd, 13th, and 21st in points allowed per game. That is far from bad, but it is not great, either.
Then, after Jim Caldwell was fired, Austin became the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. Austin was fired in November before the season was even over after the Bengals gave up 500 yards in three straight games.
Afterward, Austin came to the Steelers, where the secondary has shown plenty of development under his tutelage. This show, especially the defensive show, is largely Mike Tomlin’s show to run. However, Austin still has plenty of experience outside the organization, so it is possible his ideas are infused in the defense to a degree, similar to how Keith Butler’s blitzes were.