Steelers potential replacements at defensive coordinator if Teryl Austin gets fired

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Teryl Austin has been the defensive coordinator with the Steelers since 2022. He was also the secondary coach and defensive assistant with the team before his promotion. Ever since he took over in his current role, the defense has not been great. Pittsburgh is known for a strong defense, but that narrative has been falling to the wayside recently.

Ever since then, Austin has not been able to do much good after being promoted to defensive coordinator. This has now become a pattern in his career after having less than stellar defenses that he led in his career. Mike Tomlin does have a lot of say in the defensive play calls so there is that wrinkle in the outcome of his strategy as a coach.

The defense is not the biggest issue for the black and gold this season, but it has not been great the past two years. They are one of the worst run defenses in the NFL over the past two years and their secondary only gets worse. The Steelers defense is a T.J. Watt injury away from becoming worse than the offense, which is a problem.

A couple internal promotions could be an option for the Steelers

It would still be a bit surprising if Austin was fired, but Tomlin might have to clean house if this team hands him his first losing season as a Head coach. There could be a couple of internal candidates that could be up for promotion. One could be Grady Brown. He currently holds the role of secondary coach, and he has led a few different roles this past offseason. He could be an interesting young hire.

Another option that has been around the organization for a while is Karl Dunbar. He was having a great start to his career as the defensive line coach for Pittsburgh, but things have slowed down recently. The defensive line is not great against the run and is starting to get older. He could be a reliable option for Tomlin to promote from within to a bigger role to keep him around.