The Lions will continue to run a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, but don’t expect that to be the only way the group lines up.

Austin explained his philosophy at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday, saying he wants to be aggressive and change with 3-4 looks mixed in to keep offenses guessing.

“If they’re going to score on us, they’re going to earn it,” Austin said. “We’re going to be multiple, we’re going to bring some pressure, we’re going to be able to four-man rush and hopefully they don’t know which way we’re coming (when we blitz).”

The past five years under Jim Schwartz and coordinator Gunther Cunningham, the Lions defense typically stayed in base 4-3 or a nickel look with a heavy dose of wide-9 with the ends.

When new Lions coach Jim Caldwell was with the Colts, he regularly utilized the wide-9 with ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

“We’ll make the necessary adjustments we have to to put them in the positions to make plays,” Austin said. “If that means wide-9s, it’s wide-9s. If that means tight-9s, it’s tight-9s.”

Austin also praised 2013 first-round pick Ziggy Ansah, who led all rookies with eight sacks.

“It’s a big man’s game; it’s a fast man’s game,” Austin said. “So if you can get bigger and faster, say like a Ziggy, the more of those guys you have, the better you are.”

While the defensive labels come from the positioning of the front seven, Austin’s history coaching defensive backs — his primary duty at several colleges and NFL teams since 1993 — is what made him a desirable candidate for Caldwell.

“I’ve always been one to like coordinators that have been secondary coaches because of the fact that they see everything in front of them and typically know how it all fits together, not only with pass drops but also run fits,” Caldwell said.

Austin coached the Ravens secondary the past three seasons, and although he spent 2010 as defensive coordinator at Florida, this will be Austin’s first year as an NFL defensive coordinator.