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Lions' Teryl Austin 'not worried' about coaching rumors

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Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin seemed like a shoo-in to get a head coaching job two years ago.

Thanks to Detroit's success this year, his name has resurfaced among a list of viable candidates for 2017 openings.

"I'm not even worried about that right now," Austin said, via ESPN.com. "I'm just trying to get our guys -- been through two years of that -- and so what I'm worried about right now, the best thing I can do, is worry about our team and what we're going to do.

"All that other stuff means nothing."

Austin has been vocal about the hiring process over the last two years (in that time he's talked with the Falcons, Titans, Giants and Browns, Bills, 49ers and Bears), calling a portion of his interviews not serious and only a ploy to satisfy the Rooney Rule requirement. It may soon be a point of regret for the teams that did not take Austin seriously enough.

The Lions (7-4) have two viable head coaching candidates under Jim Caldwell (offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter being the other), but Austin's defense has formed the bedrock of a historically clutch season. The first-place Lions are 15th in points against but ninth in opponent scoring percentage. They have played especially well against the run, holding opponents to an average of 102.5 yards per week (they have not allowed a team to eclipse 100 total rushing yards since late October).

Like Vikings coach Mike Zimmer or Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, sometimes the inevitable just takes longer than it should. Austin, 51, is well on his way.

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