As expected, Jim Caldwell and the Detroit Lions have hired former Ravens defensive backs coach Teryl Austin as the new defensive coordinator.
Austin, who comes to the Lions with Caldwell from Baltimore succeeds Gunther Cunningham who has yet to be released after serving as Detroit’s defensive coordinator for the past five seasons.
Teryl Austin’s agreement to be #Lions DC is done, per source. He’s interviewing Vance Joseph (Texans) and Bill Sheridan (Bucs) as assistants
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2014
Although Austin is another new edition to an overhauled coaching staff, it’s expected that the Lions will continue to roll out a 4-3 defensive scheme. Lions team president Tm Lewand commented on the subject (via Mlive.com):
“It won’t be radically different,” Lewand said. “(Caldwell) mentioned he’ll run a 4-3 defense to take advantage of the talent we already have. You don’t want to be changing systems radically to 2-gap, big 350-pound nose who plugs up the middle kind of thing. But are there nuances? Are there different things they want to do differently in a blitz package, for example, which requires a different skill-set that we might now look for and have our scouts go out looking for?
“We want to get those nuances in place, get everybody on the same page and then move forward, and starting soon, because the Senior Bowl is next week.”
In addition to Austin, Caldwell is also expected to interview former Texans secondary coach Vance Joseph and former Buccaneers defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan to become part of his staff.