Pittsburgh Steelers: Teryl Austin Will Reportedly Become Next Defensive Coordinator
The Steelers are reportedly staying in-house to name their next defensive coordinator.
Senior Defensive Assistant Teryl Austin, who was once a defensive backs coach with the Ravens (2011-13), will be named Pittsburgh's new defensive coordinator, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Austin has previous experience as a defensive coordinator with the Lions and Bengals and he has been a defensive backs coach with the Seahawks, Cardinals and Baltimore. Former Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler retired after the season, and one of Austin's primary goals will be to improve Pittsburgh's run defense which ranked last in the NFL in 2021.
Star Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said he would endorse Austin taking over.
"TA, he's a great coach," Fitzpatrick said via ESPN's Brooke Pryor in January. "I'm not going to talk too good about him because I want him to stay in Pittsburgh. I know everybody else is trying to get at him. He's a great coach. I love his attention to detail, the way that he approaches the game, the way he lets the players have a voice. A lot of coaches don't really let players have a voice. I'm appreciative of that."
Cincinnati Bengals: Zac Taylor's Familiarity With Rams, Sean McVay Could Benefit Bengals
If Zac Taylor wasn't coaching in the Super Bowl, he'd be rooting for Rams Head Coach Sean McVay.
Taylor and McVay reached the Super Bowl together three years ago, when Taylor was the Rams' quarterbacks coach. After departing Los Angeles to become Cincinnati's head coach, Taylor will face McVay on the game's biggest stage, part of the youngest head coach matchup in Super Bowl history.
Though he'll be trying to beat his mentor, Taylor appreciates what he learned from McVay.
"Working with Sean was two of the best years of my life," Taylor said via ESPN’s Ben Baby. "It was fun. You loved coming into the building every single day."
Taylor was on the losing side in the Super Bowl three years ago, when the Rams were defeated, 13-3, by New England. The Bengals are underdogs heading into Sunday's game, but that's familiar territory for them. Ultra-cool quarterback Joe Burrow says part of his confidence comes from working with Taylor, who can join John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin as AFC North coaches who have won a Super Bowl.
"He's a great offensive mind and a great leader of men," Burrow said. "He does a great job, and I couldn't have asked for a better situation."
Cleveland Browns: Jack Conklin's Knee is Healing Well According to Agent
The Browns lost a major piece of their offensive line when two-time All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin went down with a torn patella tendon Nov. 28 against the Ravens. However, Conklin is "ahead of schedule" rehabbing, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Cleveland struggled to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield after Conklin went down, and the Browns are expected to look for offensive line help in the draft. But having Conklin return for Week 1 would be a huge plus for Cleveland's offensive line, which dealt with injury issues all season.
"The different lineups along the offensive front are never what you are looking for," Head Coach Kevin Stefanski said via Marla Ridenour of The Akron-Beacon Journal. You are always looking for those five guys to play all 16 or 17 games together."