Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports that the deal is done:
Was told Teryl Austin will be the Lions DC. Deal is done. No word yet on OC.
— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) January 16, 2014
Austin and new head coach Jim Caldwell have a long history working together, so it is no surprise that they will work together again in Detroit.
The Lions defense touts a mighty front seven, keyed by Ndamokung Suh, but a leaky secondary. Football Outsiders ranked their run defense 5th in the NFL with a 16.9% DVOA in 2013. Against the pass? They were 20th with a 9.9% DVOA. As for the Ravens, their secondary was 9th in the NFL with a -4.8% DVOA (for what it’s worth, they were 10th against the run with a -13.6% DVOA).
That appears to make this a natural fit as the Lions try to live up to the potential of their talented roster. It is likely the connection to Caldwell that got him the job, but the fact that his area of expertise (defensive backs/secondary play) matches a glaring need for the team doesn’t hurt either.