A former Bengals coach is staying in the AFC North for 2019.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Steelers have hired former defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Steelers hired former Bengals’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin as senior defensive assistant with a focus on the secondary, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 11, 2019
Austin was fired in the middle of the 2018 season after his defense was on pace to finish as one of the worst in NFL history. The Bengals hired Austin away from the same role with the Lions in January of 2018. He was tasked with repairing a talented unit that featured returning stars Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and William Jackson III, as well as rising stars Carl Lawson, Sam Hubbard and Jessie Bates.
However, Austin’s short stint in Cincinnati turned into an epic disaster that led to a rare in-season firing for a first-year coordinator with an NFL team, which led to Marvin Lewis taking the defense over and actually doing well with it, as they allowed an average of just 24 points per game over the final seven games, and that average dropped to 19.3 over the final three games.
Before Austin’s firing in Week 11 following a 51-14 loss to the Saints, the Bengals defense had just 21 sacks. Austin’s defense also allowed 500+ yards in three straight games, which was the first time that has ever happened in NFL history. They also allowed 28+ points in six of their first nine games compared to just once in the seven games under Lewis.
Austin will fit right in with a defensive staff that didn’t even know who they were game-planning for.