The Detroit Lions are in the market for a new head coach. They'll have a bunch of candidates for an attractive job with a team that already has some important pieces in place. That includes quarterback Matthew Stafford, cornerback Darius Slay and safety Glover Quin.
But what about the job-seekers themselves? Here's a chance to learn about them as we profile candidates in a coaching dossier. We start with an internal candidate -- Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Name: Teryl Austin
Alma mater: Pittsburgh
Previous experience: Defensive coordinator, Detroit Lions (2014-Present); Defensive backs coach, Baltimore Ravens (2011-13); Defensive coordinator, University of Florida (2010); Defensive backs coach, Arizona Cardinals (2007-09); Defensive backs coach, Seattle Seahawks (2003-06); Defensive backs coach, University of Michigan (1999-2002); Defensive backs coach, Syracuse (1996-98); Defensive backs coach, Wake Forest (1993-95); Graduate Assistant, Penn State (1991-92)
Connection to Bob Quinn, the Lions or Michigan: Austin has spent the past four years as the Lions' defensive coordinator under Jim Caldwell, including the two years Bob Quinn has been GM. He also spent four years as a defensive backs coach at Michigan.
Status: Interviewed with the Lions on Tuesday
Strengths: One of the things Quinn mentioned in his news conference to end the season was the need for the Lions to find a head coaching candidate who can adapt players to a scheme and a scheme to the players. Austin showed that often throughout his time with the Lions, routinely mixing and matching defensive linemen and linebackers to help cover up injuries to Stephen Tulloch, DeAndre Levy and Ezekiel Ansah at various points during his tenure. The Lions also know what his defense is capable of when they have good talent -- based on the 2014 season.
Austin has the respect of the players in the locker room already considering he coached them for four seasons and he's familiar with every aspect of the organization. Also, interestingly, Quinn mentioned in his news conference that he knows he needs to add some defensive pieces. So he might not pin a lot of Detroit's issues this season on Austin's defense. Austin also has a fantastic demeanor for a head coach. He knows how to handle himself in front of a podium.
Concerns: The obvious one is he's a holdover from the previous staff and that might not look great from the perception of public opinion. It could create some awkwardness in the locker room considering how beloved Caldwell was by the players. While Austin has a lot of qualities that will make him a good head coach, his demeanor might be too close to Caldwell to get the desired new voice Quinn is seeking.
Some of it is personnel, but Detroit struggled to find much pass rush the past two seasons, hampering the Lions' chances at success. His lack of head coaching experience could also be a concern, although Quinn said that is not a prerequisite for the gig. This will also be his 10th head coaching interview without landing a job. While they were only two plays, Quinn did admit to being disappointed when he saw the Lions with nine-and-10 men on the field in critical defensive situations this season. Caldwell took the blame for those, but Quinn knows more about the behind-the-scenes on it and if that falls on Austin, that could be a major red flag considering one of the traits Quinn referenced as important is situational football.