Report: Lions block Packers from interviewing Teryl Austin

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Former Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt chats with Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on the field before the game on Dec. 31. The Packers fired Van Pelt after the season.

Allen Park – The Detroit Lions are willing to let defensive coordinator Teryl Austin explore other opportunities, but apparently with some caveats.

According to ESPN.com, the Lions granted Austin the permission to meet with the Cincinnati Bengals for the team’s defensive coordinator opening, but denied a similar request from the Green Bay Packers.

There’s clearly a competitive element to blocking a coach from interviewing with a division rival. The Lions stopped a similar attempt by the Chicago Bears to interview Jim Bob Cooter for the team’s offensive coordinator job in 2015, when he was still a quarterbacks coach with the Lions.

The Lions also blocked current coordinator Brian Callahan from interviewing for a coordinator job last offseason.

Austin, 52, recently interviewed with the Lions for the team’s head coaching vacancy, but is considered a longshot to win the job. He remains under contract, and if the Lions hire someone else to be head coach, it will be up to them whether to retain Austin.

More: ‘Relentless’ approach fuels Lions coaching candidate Matt Patricia