Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was a hot head-coaching candidate this offseason, interviewing with the Giants, Browns, Titans and Dolphins. But he believes only two of those four interviews were “legitimate.”
Austin, who also interviewed for four jobs last year, said he considered it an honor just to be interviewed, but not all of those interviews were with teams truly considering him for the job.
“Like a legitimate job interview,” Austin said, via the Detroit Free Press. “Like I had a legitimate shot at the job.”
Asked whether that meant he was just being used to fulfill the requirements of the Rooney Rule with the other two interviews, Austin said, “Take it however you want.”
The Rooney Rule requires every team with a head-coaching vacancy to interview at least one minority for the job. But there’s nothing in the rule that can force teams to give true consideration to minority candidates, rather than simply interviewing them to satisfy the rule.
With eight interviews over the last two years, Austin has now gotten to know the top decision-makers on a quarter of the league’s teams. That should help his career, even if he isn’t always pleased with going through the motions on an interview with a team that has already decided to hire someone else.