Jim Caldwell is the new head coach of the Detroit Lions. That must be accepted at this point. Hopefully he does a better job than he has in the past and, who knows, maybe he will. However, we still don't have a full sense of what the Caldwell regime is going to look like, because he has to set his staff. While you can quibble with Jim Schwartz's tenure as head coach, he did a good job when it came to hiring coordinators. In bringing in Scott Linehan and Gunther Cunningham, he brought in two well-respected coordinators who had been considered good enough at that to get head coaching jobs. Well, Caldwell has taken a slightly different route, at least with one of his coordinators. It seems that Teryl Austin will be the new defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.
Austin and Caldwell, unsurprisingly, have history. Austin was Caldwell's defensive backs coach at Wake Forest from 1993-1995, and they spent the last couple of years together in Baltimore, where Austin was the secondary coach for the Ravens. Austin has a history as a secondary coach in the NFL, but he only has one year at defensive coordinator. That was in 2010, and it was in college. That was at the University of Florida, but that's not much to go on.
So, we really don't know what Austin is going to do. That's fine. Maybe he will be good at this. Baltimore has turned out a lot of sharp defensive minds. I am curious as to how much the relationship between Caldwell and Austin played into this. I worry that Caldwell was perhaps too locked in on Austin, but then again perhaps he just felt confident that Austin was the man for the job.
At least the team will remain a 4-3 defense. Plus, the issue on this team has been the secondary. Can Austin coach them up? Then again, that's not necessarily his job anymore. That will be the secondary coaches job. Maybe Austin knows a good one.