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Signs point to Teryl Austin returning to Lions

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Mobile, Ala. — All signs point to Teryl Austin staying with the Lions after his outstanding first season as a defensive coordinator.

Austin is in Mobile for the Senior Bowl this week wearing Lions gear and participating in some of the team's interviews with prospects, a sign that the organization expects him to return in 2015.

The 49-year-old Austin is a finalist for the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons, but indications are they will hire Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn after the Super Bowl. Even though Austin hasn't yet been rejected, the Falcons hiring offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was a sign that he won't receive the job.

When Lions senior personnel executive Brian Xanders was interviewing for the general manager job with the Miami Dolphins last year, he was not allowed to interview players with the Lions.

Austin declined an interview request from The Detroit News in Mobile Tuesday. The Lions prohibited their coaches, scouts and executives from doing interviews during the Senior Bowl week.

In Austin's first season in Detroit, the Lions' defense ranked second overall, first against the run and third in points allowed. Players raved about his coaching style as he put them in position to utilize their strengths and hide their weaknesses.