Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who’s has moved to the forefront of the Atlanta Falcons’ coaching search, has a second interview with the team scheduled for Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the search.
Also, Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is schedule to have a second interview on Thursday, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Bowles interviewed with the Falcons on Saturday and is now considered the leading candidate to replace head coach Mike Smith since Rex Ryan agreed to be named the head coach at Buffalo.
New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is expected to stay with the Patriots. Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is not available until at least after the NFC championship game and may not be available until after the Super Bowl. He is considered the leader for the New York Jets coaching vacancy.
Bowles has been on the Falcons’ radar from the outset of the coaching search, but couldn’t interview until the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs.
Bowles is believed to have a major supporter in the Falcons hierarchy in assistant general manager Scott Pioli, whose father-in-law is Bill Parcells. Bowles worked for Parcells in Dallas and Miami.
He is one of the hottest candidates out on the NFL head-coaching circuit right now. He’s considered a contender in Chicago and San Francisco.
Austin helped turn the Lions into one of the league’s top defensive teams in his first season as their coordinator.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell says Austin deserves a chance to be a head coach.
Austin helped his case with the pressure that his unit generated against the Cowboys in the wild-card round of the playoffs. They were able to disguise their blitzes and create free paths to the quarterback. The Lions registered six sacks and 10 quarterback hits against the Cowboys.
Austin, 49, completed his first season as Detroit’s defensive coordinator. He spent the three previous seasons with the Baltimore Ravens as their defensive backs coach.
He also has had NFL coaching stints with Seattle (2003-06) and Arizona (2007-09).
With each of his NFL stops, Austin has helped his teams pave the way to Super Bowl appearances (Seattle in 2005, Arizona in 2008 and Baltimore in 2012). In 2012, he helped guide the Ravens to victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
He also had college stops at Penn State (1991-92), Wake Forest (1993-95), Syracuse (1996-98) and Michigan (1999-2002) and Florida, where he was the defensive coordinator in 2010.
A Sharon, Pa., native, he was a safety in college at Pittsburgh and with the Montreal Machine in the old World League of American Football.
The Falcons have also interviewed Denver offensive coordinator Andrew Gase and former Buffalo coach Doug Marrone.