The Pittsburgh Steelers are hiring Teryl Austin to be their next defensive coordinator, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, per sources. Austin, previously Pittsburgh's senior defensive assistant and secondary coach, replaces Keith Butler, who retired this offseason after 19 years with the club.
The team officially announced Austin's hiring on Wednesday.
Among the candidates to replace Butler were Austin, Patrick Graham and Kris Richard. Graham, previously defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, was hired this week by the Las Vegas Raiders in the same capacity. New York was interested in interviewing Austin to fill Graham's spot as Giants DC before Pittsburgh sealed the deal.
Austin just wrapped up his third season as a member of Pittsburgh's defensive staff. He was previously the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions under Jim Caldwell from 2014-2017 and the Cincinnati Bengals under Marvin Lewis in 2018.
In Pittsburgh, Austin inherits a talent-laden defense that, after ranking in the top 10 in yards and points allowed in recent years, fell to 24th and 20th, respectively, in 2021. Still, the Steelers defense boasts multiple All-Pros, like Defensive Player of the Year candidate T.J. Watt, who just tied the single-season sack record, Cameron Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick, and will be the strength of the team heading into 2022.
In his first year back as defensive coordinator, Austin will be set up for success under Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh.