February 26, 2021



What the 49ers are saying about Robert Saleh’s possible departure

Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks rounded out Robert Saleh fourth season as the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator. It seems the team is preparing for it to be Saleh’s last with news that at least three teams are preparing to interview Saleh for their vacant head coach jobs.

The Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars are the potential suitors so far, general manager John Lynch told reporters on Monday

Saleh’s departure isn’t certain, but those that worked closest with him throughout the 49ers’ organization seem to be preparing for a difficult goodbye.

“Saleh will go kill these interviews and do a great job,” Kyle Shanahan said during Monday’s season ending press conference alongside Lynch. “I wish him the best of luck in all this.”

How certain are the 49ers that Saleh will earn a promotion elsewhere? Shanahan is already considering some replacements. And he’s not stressed about his options. Linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans would be a top candidate to replace Saleh, he said.

On Sunday, Shanahan spoke at length about the players’ respect for their fiery defensive coordinator.

“I know how much they respect Robert as a coach and love him as a person. I wouldn’t say today was any extra. It’s why they fight for him every week. When you’ve got a coaching staff that knows what they’re doing and are invested in players, all the guys want to do is be coached the right way and care about that, and Saleh does that as well as good as anyone ..

I was very happy with what he did throughout the whole year. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t lose him. I don’t know what’s wrong with people if they don’t hire him. He’s as good as you can get.

He knows more about football, all three phases, he’s going to hire the best staff, he knows about players, he knows what he’s talking about, he also knows how to deal with people. I hope everyone’s not very smart and doesn’t hire him, so I can keep him. I’m expecting not to have him. We’ve got a lot of other good guys on our staff and I know there’ll be some options. What we’ve built here over the four years with Saleh and the whole coaching staff, we haven’t made many changes. We’ve got a lot of guys who’ve grown together and we have players used to it. We’ll wait to see what happens with Saleh, but I know the Niners will be all right. ”

Dr. Greenlaw explained how Saleh has shaped the 23-year-old linebacker’s early career.