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Todd Bowles, Teryl Austin Land Second Interviews With Falcons

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The race for two of the NFL's top coaching candidates may be on.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

If the Atlanta Falcons truly want Todd Bowles as their next head coach, their opportunity is looming.

Bowles has been a popular name on the head coaching circuit the last couple of years as a defensive coordinator and well-regarded player's coach. His attacking Arizona defense allowed the 9th-fewest yards and 5th-fewest points in the NFL during the regular season, and as Aaron Freeman at FalcFans notes, he has a reputation for squeezing a better pass rush than you'd anticipate out of his teams, along with a man-heavy scheme that could work well in Atlanta with a couple of talent upgrades accompanying it. In other words, he's a defensive-minded coach, something many fans and analysts believe the Falcons need. I'm one of them.

The Falcons have also scheduled a second interview with Teryl Austin, the one-year Lions defensive coordinator who turned that unit into one of the best defenses in football. Austin's a long-time secondary coach and defensive backs coach in the NFL who finally got his shot at coordinating this year, and the work he's done in that capacity has vaulted him into the list of hot candidates getting multiple interviews around the league. The Falcons appear to be competing with the Chicago Bears for his services.

If the Falcons want to lock down Bowles, they'll probably need to make sure he doesn't leave Flowery Branch this time around, as the Bears, 49ers and now Jets are all reportedly interested. If he is hired, you can expect to hear an announcement from the team by mid-week, I'd anticipate. If Austin's the man, they'll need to beat out an interested Bears team, so they'll likely need to move quickly after Thursday's interview with him, as well. Stay tuned for news and rumors.

Do you think the Falcons will hire Bowles?