Allen Park — After helping the Lions improve to have the top-ranked defense in the NFL, first-year coordinator Teryl Austin is on the fast track for a head-coaching gig.
With Florida firing Will Muschamp this week, Austin is among the names rumored to be in consideration for the Gators job.
Austin was Florida's defensive coordinator in 2010 when the Gators when 8-5, including a win in the Outback Bowl, but he said he's not thinking about a possible return to Gainesville.
"I'm thinking about this game right here, have not even thought about it," Austin said Thursday. "I hate it for all the guys that are down there. There's a whole bunch of families and people that lost their jobs, and it stinks. And that's that."
Of course, Austin and the Lions defense has a monumental task this week in New England against a Patriots team that ranks second in the NFL, averaging 32.3 points per game. Even though Austin's success this year could lead to future opportunities, he's focused on stopping Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
"I kind of look just to this week because if you start looking down and start, 'I'm going to do this,' it means nothing," he said. "I just try to do the best I can at the job I have, and this week we have the Patriots."
Coach Jim Caldwell said he tries to give his assistants advice if new opportunities come along, but such conversations won't happen during the season.
"I want what's best for him, so we'll see," Caldwell said. "Those are all speculations and rumors, things of that nature. We're not going to address those issues. Let's talk about the challenge we have at hand, which is a big one."