The Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin oversees the defense during organized team activities Tuesday, May 22 at the practice facility near Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Cincinnati Bengals: Head coach Marvin Lewis to take over team’s struggling defense

Team fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday

One day after an embarrassing defensive performance in a season full of them, the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, a former defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, will take over the defense moving forward.

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“I appreciate the hard work that Coach Austin has put into our football team, but I felt it best to make a change at this point in time, and I wish him the best,” Lewis said. “I will be coordinating the defense from here on out and I am excited to do that. This football team has a real chance to get back to playing winning football so we can compete for the playoffs, and that is our sole focus.”

»ARCHDEACON: Bengals are a team going in reverse

The Bengals (5-4) on Sunday — in a 51-14 loss to the Saints — became the first team in Super Bowl Era to allow more than 500 yards in three straight games.

Cincinnati allows a league-worst 454.6 yards per game and ranks 31st (out of 32) in points allowed per game (32.0).

Austin, 53, was in his first season with the Bengals. He spent the previous four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions.

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Video: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

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