The Lions were 27th in total defense this season. They were 15th in 2016 when they made the playoffs. In his first season as Detroit defensive coordinator, the Lions finished second in run defense.
Prior to Detroit, Austin was the defensive backs coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 2011-13. He also was a secondary coach in Arizona (2007-09) and Seattle (2003-2006), and he was the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida in 2010.
›› Bengals Report Card: Grading the 2017 season
Austin will be the first of a number of new hires for the Bengals, who also are looking to fill vacancies created by the departures of Paul Alexander (offensive line) and James Urban (wide receivers).
Austin also coached in the college ranks at Michigan, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Penn State.
If the Bengals finalize a deal with Austin, he would become the fifth defensive coordinator under Marvin Lewis, following Leslie Frazier, Chuck Bresnahan, Mike Zimmer and Guenther.