Teryl Austin: Denver Broncos Head Coach Candidate

cdumler
Dec 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Lions win 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Lions win 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Teryl Austin is a dark horse candidate for head coach that I think should not be overlooked.  He is long overdue to be a head coach somewhere.

At this point I think most know who the big-name candidates are for the Denver Broncos’ next Head Coach.  Interviews have been set up with two of the candidates for this weekend and another set up whenever the Dolphins are knocked out of the playoffs.  There are rumors of some other candidates but nothing substantiated yet. One of those rumors that I hope is true is Teryl Austin.

This is a guy the Broncos during the last coaching search tried to get an interview set up with.  He ended up declining it.  My guess is he thought the Broncos were just bringing him in for the Rooney Rule.  Well two years later I would hope they see this guy is much more than just meeting the rules the NFL has set up.  He is a legit candidate that should get a very long look.

Before I get into some of the intangibles I think he brings to the table let’s just look at his history a little bit.

Sep 1, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin smiles before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Lions win 31-0. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 1, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin smiles before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Lions win 31-0. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Age:  51

Current Job:  Defensive Coordinator for the Detroit Lions

NFL Experience:  13 Years (10 years working in the secondary and 3 years as a defensive coordinator)

College Experience:  13 Years (2 as a graduate assistant, 3 as a defensive backs coach, 7 as a defensive assistant, and 1 as a defensive coordinator)

Playing Experience:  He is a 4-year letterman at the University of Pittsburgh.  Austin played safety for them and was a 3-year starter during his time with the team.  After college, he played 1-year with the Montreal Machine in the World League of American Football.

As others have noted, we have a pretty good idea of what Elway is looking for in his next hire as a head coach.  Teryl Austin doesn’t check all the boxes that Elway is looking for unfortunately.  That doesn’t mean he isn’t still a good candidate, but it could be why the Broncos haven’t tried to set up a formal meeting with him.  Here are some of Elway’s criteria…

Young:  Depending on who is hired during this off season Teryl Austin’s age would put him about middle of the pack for head coaches.  So probably not the spring chicken that Elway is looking for but still plenty of tread left on the tire.

Relates to his players:  This might be one of his biggest strengths.  Players have raved about him in the past.  In fact maybe his best coaching work was done when the Detroit Lions team was terrible.  Players have talked about how Teryl Austin especially kept the defense together after a terrible start in 2015.  They started out as a team 1-7.  The team never quit though and the defense especially lead them to some great wins to finish off the season 6-2.

Is an exciting candidate:  Again maybe not the top choice of most teams.  He has though been interviewed by 8 teams over the last 2 years.  So at least he is getting quite a few looks.

Getting beyond some of this let me give my opinion on the guy.  Just having read many of his interviews he reminds me a lot of Mike Zimmer of the Vikings.  Teams passed over Zimmer repeatedly.  It was obvious that the man knew how to coach so that wasn’t the issue.  From what I understand Zimmer during interviews was a no nonsense kind of guy and it turned a lot of teams off to her personality.  I’m somewhat wondering if the same thing is happening to Teryl Austin.  He has that same type of attitude.  For his players they love it and respect him because he is very much a straight shooter with them.  A GM though might not always appreciate that type of personality especially in an interview process.

More from Predominantly Orange

Here are my reasons I do think the Broncos should look at him.  The first being just the success of the Detroit Lions over the last 3 years.  They have now made the playoffs two of the three years he has been in town.  The 14 seasons before that they made it once.  Teryl Austin’s defenses have been a huge part of that success.  His first year he saw his team ranked top-3 in most defensive categories.

The second is he has proven to be very scheme diverse.  He has changed up what he calls based on the talent he has on the field.  The first year he had some good coverage guys and some great pass rushers so he played a lot closer to the line of scrimmage.  As he has lost some of his pass rushers to free agency and some to injury he has adjusted to help his team the best way possible.  With any head coach they are going to have to learn that every year is a new team and you have to adjust.  So I like seeing this quality in him at least in his play calling.

Finally and maybe most importantly is there is no quit in this guy.  He asks a lot of his players and they have responded even when things have not looked good.  I honestly do not worry about Teryl Austin ever losing the team even if they are losing.

Teryl Austin probably isn’t on the top of many people’s list when it comes to our next head coach.  If the Broncos don’t like what they hear from some of their top choices though I hope they give Austin a call.  He has a lot of great qualities that I think could help him find a lot of success here in Denver.

facebooktwitterreddit