Teryl Austin Courtship Shows Jon Gruden Going After Top-flight Staff

[CSNBY] Ultimately unsuccessful Teryl Austin courtship shows Jon Gruden going after top-flight staff
Scott Bair

The Raiders are trying to lure Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin to Oakland. He's on a job hunt after Lions head coach Jim Caldwell was fired last week, and NFL Network reports Jon Gruden's courtship has continued even as the Cincinnati Bengals are trying to make him their defensive coordinator.

The crazy part: Gruden doesn't have that job title available. Paul Guenther is set to be his DC.

Ian Rapoport states that Gruden would make Austin assistant head coach and have him work with defensive backs. That's the exact position Jon Pagano held under Jack Del Rio's regime.

It's uncertain whether Austin dons silver and black. The Raiders' interest might be used as leverage trying to up Cincinnati's offer.

It speaks, however, to a larger point. The Raiders didn't pay Jon Gruden $100 million and then skimp on everything else. They're allowing him to assemble a top-flight staff.

Greg Olson is set to be offensive coordinator. Paul Guenther is in line to run the defensive side. Both guys got four-year contracts, double the industry standard. Rich Bisaccia is set to run the special teams and it's possible, though unconfirmed, that he got a similar deal.

That type of guaranteed money goes a long way in Gruden getting assistants he wants.

Austin is a respected defensive mind and was a head-coaching candidate back in 2014. He has been a defensive backs coach in Seattle, Arizona and Baltimore since 2003.

The Raiders haven't made announcements regarding assistants. They haven't said much of anything at all, outside a Tuesday press conference to formally knight Gruden head coach.

Adding Gruden is the big-ticket item, but allowing him to assemble a quality staff is vital to the on-field product. That's especially true on defense, with an offensive mastermind at head coach.

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