Steelers promoting Teryl Austin to defensive coordinator after Giants interview

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Cross one name off the list for Giants defensive coordinator.

The Steelers are finalizing a deal to hire secondary coach Teryl Austin for their own defensive coordinator role, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, with a contract reportedly being worked out. It’s a promotion for Austin, who enters his fourth year with the Steelers after coordinator stints in Detroit and Cincinnati.

The Giants had interviewed Austin on Saturday, along with Don “Wink” Martindale, Sean Desai and Jim Schwartz. New head coach Brian Daboll needs to fill the role after Patrick Graham left to be the coordinator for the Raiders.

Austin had always been a favorite to get the job in Pittsburgh, which replaces the retiring Keith Butler.

Steelers senior defensive assistant coach Teryl Austin watches the team warm up before a game against the Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Pittsburgh.
Teryl Austin
AP

“TA, he’s a great coach,” Minkah Fitzpatrick told reporters in January. “I’m not going to talk too good about him because I want him to stay in Pittsburgh. I know everybody else is trying to get at him. He’s a great coach. I love his attention to detail, the way that he approaches the game, the way he lets the players have a voice. I’m appreciative of that.”

As for the Giants, Martindale looks like a potential frontrunner. The former Ravens DC interviewed for the head coaching position with the team two years ago when they eventually hired Joe Judge and reportedly impressed ownership.

Daboll is scrambling to fill the position after the surprise departure of Graham. It’s rare to make a lateral move in the NFL, but after interviewing for, and failing to get, the head coaching job, Graham likely saw better prospects for himself elsewhere.

He’s also close with Brian Flores, who is suing the Giants, as well as 31 other teams, for unfair hiring practices, claiming they had already decided to hire Daboll at the time they conducted an interview with him for the head coaching job.

In addition to a coordinator, the Giants also need to hire a defensive line and linebackers coach.

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