Lions deny Teryl Austin permission to interview with rival

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Packers won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions swept their divisional rivals from Green Bay for the first time since 1991, and now they've reportedly taken steps to ensure that part of their current coaching staff doesn't soon find himself on their side of the rivalry.

While they're allowing defensive coordinator Teryl Austin to explore potential coaching opportunities with other teams, they didn't give him permission to interview for the now-open defensive coordinator position with the Packers following their firing of Dom Capers.

The Packers have had themselves a busy off-season so far with the firings of Capers, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and inside linebackers coach Scott McCurley. They had their eyes on Austin, but as NFL rules allow, they blocked the request. 

This isn't an unusual move for the Lions, as they've refused permission for their staff to interview for positions within the NFC North. They didn't allow Jim Bob Cooter, then a quarterbacks coach, to interview with the Chicago Bears in 2015. They also didn't allow current coach Brian Callahan from interviewing for a coordinator position last year with the New York Jets.

Austin was, however, given the green light by the Lions to interview with the Cincinnati Bengals. He's also interviewed for Detroit's head coaching vacancy, though he isn't expected to be a serious contender to land Jim Caldwell's former job.

With 14 years of coaching experience in the NFL and another 11 in college, Austin's name has been floated around for some time, and the Lions recognize that. Just don't expect to see him end up with a rival of the Honolulu Blue.