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Steelers requested to interview Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Steelers have put in a request to interview Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham for the vacant defensive coordinator position, as Keith Butler announced his retirement on Saturday.

Graham is still under contract with the Giants, even though Joe Judge was fired. Graham spent the past two years as the Giants' defensive coordinator. He was the Dolphins defensive coordinator in 2019.

Before Miami, Graham was a linebackers coach for the Packers for one season. And prior to that, he was with the Giants from 2016 to 2017 as the defensive line coach. Graham's first job in the NFL was with the Patriots in 2009 as a defensive assistant. Graham worked his way up the ranks with the Patriots and served roles as a linebackers and defensive line coach until 2016.

According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers have indicated to senior defensive assistant and secondary coach Teryl Austin that he would be in line to succeed Butler, but not determination has been made at this point.

Austin has prior experience as a defensive coordinator, as he was the defensive play-caller for the Lions (2014-2017) and Bengals (2018). Austin really didn't have much to work with in Cincinnati and was fired in the middle of the season. Austin did some good things with the Lions, but was let go after Jim Caldwell was fired following the 2017 season. Austin has been on Tomlin's staff since 2019.

Mike Tomlin prefers to promote his assistant coaches to coordinator positions rather than hire outside of the organization, so that's likely the route the Steelers will take and promote Austin. However, the Steelers are doing their due diligence and taking a look at Graham.

Former head coaches Vic Fangio, Brian Flores and Mike Zimmer are also available as possible candidates for the Steelers' defensive coordinator job, but it's unlikely that they would want to take a back seat, as Butler revealed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Tomlin calls the plays. Don "Wink" Martindale was fired by the Ravens on Friday, so he could also be an option. But like Fangio, Flores and Zimmer, it's doubtful, as Martindale is a well experienced defensive coordinator. He would want to be the play-caller.

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