Late last night, one of the hottest NFL coordinators of the past few coaching cycles came off the board.
49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has been an integral part of the turnaround in San Francisco under Kyle Shanahan, and has been on the interview circuit for an NFL head coaching opportunity the last few years. That all paid off last night when the Jets announced them as their new head coach.
Saleh has only spent a few seasons as an on-field coach in the NFL, getting his call up in 2014 as the linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent the next few seasons in Jacksonville before leaving to become the defensive coordinator for Shanahan in The Bay Area in 2017.
A native of Michigan’s east side, who grew up just a few miles from the Lions home stadium, Saleh played his college ball at Northern Michigan (D-II) before getting into coaching in the early 2000’s at the college level with stops at Michigan State, Central Michigan, and Georgia as a defensive assistant. He left for the NFL in 2005, becoming an intern with the Houston Texans and working his way to a defensive quality control role and then assistant linebackers coach with the team in 2009.
He went on to spent three seasons as a defensive quality control coach at Seattle as well before landing the linebackers job with the Jaguars.
Through the difficulties that the COVID pandemic has presented to the 49ers personnel, players raved about Saleh’s ability to not only connect with players, but also how we able to effectively game plan with limitations on their personnel.
With the Jets and Jags off the board, head coaching openings remain with the Chargers, Falcons, Lions and Texans. Those should be wrapping up their processes in the coming days.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.