Teryl Austin May Leave, Can Detroit Lions Move On?

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Gunther Cunningham

There are some fans that didn’t even realize the old german was still with the team.  Gunther Cunningham was never allowed to run his own scheme for the Detroit Lions when Jim Schwartz was the head coach, but with the possible departure of Teryl Austin there is a slim chance the team gives Gunny another shot.

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Cunningham is more familiar with the players and position coaches than anyone else, and his role of improving midweek preparation for the team was a contributing factor to the team’s defensive upswing.  A somewhat volatile figure on the sidelines, Cunningham has a reputation as being “that angry german guy shouting obscenities” when things aren’t going well, or hey, when they’re going great.  It was curious that he was retained when Schwartz and co. moved on given his contrast in personality to Jim Caldwell, but they never seemed to clash.

Defensively, Cunningham would likely be similar in scheme to Teryl Austin with a few tweaks that could help or hurt the team.  Primarily, his defense is much more reliant on zone philosophies than Austin’s is.  There will be plenty of aggressive pressure looks, though, which was a huge improvement for the team in 2014.

Next: Scheme Similar?