Detroit Lions News: Coordinators Getting Head Coaching Buzz

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 /

Detroit Lions news ponders the possibility that both Teryl Austin and Jim Bob Cooter are destined for head coaching jobs in the near future.

It’s that time of the year when NFL coaching hot seats get hotter and buzz picks up about who could be in line for whatever head coaching jobs become available. With the way this season is unfolding, it looks like the Detroit Lions won’t be among the list of teams looking for a new head coach, but those that are could be looking at the Lions’ coordinators.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has gotten head coaching look in each of the last two offseasons and figures to again with the way the Lions defense has turned things around. In a new piece on, Connor Orr has Austin ranked in his top tier and second overall in his list of head coaching candidates. Orr has the following to say about Austin:

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"Austin was labeled as a heavy favorite to interview again at the end of this season on our initial list of candidates. This thinking was based on my opinion — given the sheer number of interviews he’s had in seasons past — which was recently fortified by one former NFL coach who expected Austin will receive calls again this season. Placed in a category of excellent coordinators, it would seem Austin’s ultimate coaching fate resided on the entire Lions operation this season. After a stunning campaign that could produce a division title, the time has come for Austin to rise from the ranks of well-respected defensive architect to team leader. His best weapon might be his skepticism; Austin has interviewed with plenty of teams over the past two years, though he has spoken honestly about some of those interviews not being serious inquisitions. He knows what he wants and who to trust."

Only New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is ranked higher, with Atlanta Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan and Philadelphia Eagles DC, and former Lions head coach, Jim Schwartz rounding out the top four in the top tier.

The next tier is a five-person group labeled “right on the cusp”, led by Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn followed by Patriots DC Matt Patricia, Dolphins DC Vance Joseph, Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter and Seahawks DC Darrell Bevell. Orr’s section on JBC says the following:

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"Unfortunately for Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, he has not received nearly the credit he deserves for the team’s surprising run this year. Most of the attention has been placed on Austin and Cooter, both of whom will get interviews this January if they can fit time in their schedules. One industry source had Cooter targeted as a potential candidate for an interview after training camp but noted how the opinion of him could change based on the performance of the Lions this season, while an NFC executive lauded his potential as a coach. It is my opinion that, in that time, his stock has risen, as Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has elevated himself into the MVP conversation. The Lions don’t have a highly ranked offense in terms of total yards, but the devastation is in the design. Also, Detroit is sixth in turnover margin — behind five other teams that have a good chance of making the playoffs."

That places coach Jim Bob much closer to a head coaching job than many would have thought given his relative inexperience as a coordinator and his young age. Orr states that his list is based partly on his own opinion and partly on what he hears from sources, and it isn’t really clear which of those would be driving the relative lofty ranking.

The eventual departure of Teryl Austin for a head coaching job has been expected, but it is starting to sounds like Jim Bob Cooter may not be far behind him.

Here’s a look at some other Detroit Lions news, notes, tidbits and general whatnots from around the web.

More Detroit Lions news from around FanSided

Detroit Lions’ Salary Cap Situation in Good Shape for 2017
Zac Snyder | Detroit Jock City

Matthew Stafford Is The Most Reliable Quarterback In The NFL
Jacob Slocum | SideLion Report

Week 14-17 Preview: The Detroit Lions test begins now
Brandon Finley | SideLion Report

More Detroit Lions news from around the rest of the web

Did Matthew Stafford jump Derek Carr in the MVP race on Thursday night?
Jeremy Reisman | Pride of Detroit

Asa Jackson embraces second go with Detroit Lions DC Teryl Austin
Nate Atkins | MLive

Caldwell’s even-keel approach keeps Lions afloat
John Niyo | The Detroit News

Next: 10 Detroit Lions Who Could Be Gone in 2017

The NFL seems to have done really well with allowing players to wear custom cleats to support causes important to each player and now that the games are over the money-raising phase has begun. You can bid on the cleats worn by Eric Ebron the NFL’s auction site. Proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation.