Source: Steelers need to promote Austin to DC

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PITTSBURGH – The Steelers did not have to look far to find their next defensive coordinator.

The organization is about to sign a deal with senior defensive assistant and secondary coach Teryl Austin to replace the outgoing defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who retired last month, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The parties are working on the details of the contract on Sunday, the source said.

The news of Austin’s promotion was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Austin, who entered his fourth season with the Steelers and 19th in the league, previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Lions and Bengals. Prior to his stays in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, Austin trained defensive backs for the Seahawks, Cardinals and Ravens. He also shared defensive coordinator duties with Mike Tomlin in one game this season when Butler was put on the sidelines in COVID-19 protocols.

“TA, he’s a great coach,” safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said in January. “I do not want to speak too well of him, because I want him to stay in Pittsburgh. I know everyone else is trying to get hold of him. He’s a great coach. I love his attention to detail, the way he approaches the match in the way he lets the players have a voice. Many coaches do not really let players have a voice. I am grateful for that. “

Days before his promotion with the Steelers, the Giants requested an interview with Austin for their defensive coordinator opening. Austin, however, chose to stay in Pittsburgh.

Although the Steelers conducted external interviews for the position, Austin, 56, who played safety at the University of Pittsburgh, was seen as a favorite throughout the process.

The Steelers have a history of internal promotions to coordinator positions, and previously promoted Matt Canada from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator before last season, and Butler was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator in 2015 to take over from Dick LeBeau.

“He’s a really personal person who really enjoys what he’s doing,” cornerback Cam Sutton said of Austin in January. “He’s a guy who’s really energetic every single day, from start to finish, feeling his best, feeling his worst, you name it. A guy who always pushes all his chips into the middle of the table to help us together. “

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