Austin has been a defensive coordinator in the NFL with some great results and some not-good ones. The biggest difference between the two is the talent on the ones that were good versus the ones that were bad. While this could be said of probably any coach, my point is that the problems weren’t scheme but talent. With Norton, Jr., Seattle has talent but there seems to be no imagination in how to use that talent.
Austin has been the Steelers Senior Defensive Assistant/secondary coach since 2019. He has helped safety Micah Fitzpatrick (Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers midseason in 2019) into a First-Team All-Pro free safety. Seahawks safety Jamal Adams is a great player but a unique talent too and would benefit from Austin coaching him.
Adams is being wasted this season. He blitzes a lot less and stays back in coverage. For Adams to be his most productive, he needs to be moved around to help stop the run and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. A defense not knowing where Adams is coming from helps the Seattle defense overall. Plus, Adams was extended this offseason and won’t be going anywhere any time soon and will outlast Norton, Jr.
Austin did only last most of one season with the Bengals in 2018 and was fired after his defense gave up 500-plus yards in three straight weeks. But the Bengals had little overall talent on their defense and the teams that put up the yards were the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Saints. No slouches there.
Austin would bring a better idea of how to put pressure on quarterbacks while also improving individual players like Adams.