The Green Bay Packers are getting shut down left and right. The latest has the Packers trying to interview Detroit Lions’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin for the same position in Green Bay. The Lions have denied the Packers permission because Austin is technically still under contract.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 5, 2018
That’s somewhat odd considering the Lions fired their head coach, Jim Caldwell, on Monday.
Are the Lions going to mandate that their new coach keep Austin on as defensive coordinator? More likely, they’re just sticking it to a division rival.
The Packers were also rebuffed by the Minnesota Vikings when asking for permission to interview George Paton for their general manager opening. They were shot down by Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie as well.
Austin has been the Lions’ defensive coordinator since 2014. Like Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy, Austin has Pennsylvania roots. He was born in Sharon and attended Pittsburgh.
From 2014, Austin’s defenses have ranked, in order: second, 18th, 18th and 27th. Not exactly trending in the right direction.
Personally, I don’t find this much of a loss. I still like the idea of former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, even though he’s a disciple of Dom Capers. He built the Bears into a top-10 unit in his three years in Chicago.
And if not Fangio, let’s give cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt a shot. He was in Green Bay before Capers and is known for holding players accountable, which is something Capers did not do.