The Lions have hired Teryl Austin to be their defensive coordinator, the first time that Austin will be in that job at the NFL level.
It looks like he’ll have two former NFL coordinators on his staff, however. Former Giants and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan will coach the linebackers and Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports that Alan Williams, who used to run the Vikings defense, will be the team’s defensive backs coach in 2014. The team retained defensive line coaches Jim Washburn and Kris Kocurek.
Williams served as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator in the last two seasons and was let go after head coach Leslie Frazier was fired. Before that, Williams worked on Tony Dungy’s staffs with the Buccaneers and Colts and worked with new Lions coach Jim Caldwell in both places.
The Lions were the last team that Williams faced as the defensive coordinator in Minnesota and held Detroit to 13 points in a Week 17 Vikings win. The rest of the 2013 season wasn’t quite so enjoyable for the Vikings defense, but Caldwell’s familiarity with him and Williams’ experience seem to have trumped that performance.