Lions hire Teryl Austin as their defensive coordinator

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Teryl Austin has been hired as Detroit's defensive coordinator. (USATSI)
Teryl Austin has been hired as Detroit's defensive coordinator. (USATSI)

Though it's been bandied about for the past few days, the Lions on Friday officially named Teryl Austin as their new defensive coordinator under new coach Jim Caldwell.

Austin worked as a defensive backs coach with the Ravens for the past three seasons, and before that, he coached the secondary for the Cardinals from 2007-09 and the Seahawks from 2003-05. As the team points out, coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), each of those squads went to the Super Bowl when Austin was on staff.

Last season, the Ravens finished 12th in the league in pass defense by allowing 230.1 yards per game.

Austin -- who was the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida in 2010 -- and Caldwell have known each other since Austin was a graduate assistant at Penn State, and they worked together when Caldwell was the head coach at Wake Forest and when Caldwell was hired as an offensive assistant the past two years in Baltimore.

“We're looking for energetic, smart, tough, men who are great instructors,” Caldwell told the team website. “Also challenge the guys around them to do the same as well. That's the big thing, discipline and great instructors are key.”

As the Ravens official site writes, "Austin was specifically influential in the development of cornerbacks Jimmy Smith , Lardarius Webb , Chykie Brown and former Raven and sixth-round pick Cary Williams, who got a big free-agent deal in Philadelphia."

The Lions plan to keep the same 4-3 scheme that was used under former defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.

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