1:16 PM ET
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers didn’t have to look far to find their next defensive coordinator.
The organization is finalizing a deal with senior defensive assistant and secondary coach Teryl Austin to replace outgoing defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who retired last month, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The two sides are working out the details of the contract Sunday, the source said.
The news of Austin’s promotion was first reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Austin, entering his fourth season with the Steelers and 19th in the league, previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Lions and Bengals. Before his stints in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, Austin coached defensive backs for the Seahawks, Cardinals and Ravens. He also split defensive coordinator duties with Mike Tomlin for one game this season when Butler was sidelined in COVID-19 protocols.
“TA, he’s a great coach,” safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said 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. A lot of coaches don’t really let players have a voice. I’m appreciative of that.”
Days before his promotion with the Steelers, the Giants requested an interview with Austin for their defensive coordinator opening. Austin, though, chose to remain in Pittsburgh.
Though the Steelers conducted outside interviews for the position, Austin, who played safety at the University of Pittsburgh, was viewed as a favorite throughout the process.
The Steelers have a history of internal promotions for coordinator positions, previously elevating 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 for Dick LeBeau.
“He’s a real personable person who really enjoys what he does,” cornerback Cam Sutton said of Austin in January. “He’s a guy who really comes energized every single day, from start to finish, feeling his best, feeling his worst, you name it. A guy who’s always pushing all his chips into the middle of the table to help us collectively.”
Source: ESPN NFL