The San Francisco 49ers interviewed Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh last Friday, and it would appear he has claimed a job. ESPN’s Adam Caplan is reporting the 49ers will hire Saleh to serve as Kyle Shanahan’s defensive coordinator.
The 49ers also interviewed Atlanta Falcons defensive passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson for the job, and there were reports the 49ers might hire him as a co-DC. However, Caplan tweeted that Saleh will have the job entirely on his own.
This marks a big step up for Saleh. He served as Jaguars linebackers coach for the past three seasons, and was set to become the San Diego Chargers linebackers coach under new head coach Anthony Lynn. Instead, Shanahan’s hiring means a big promotion for Saleh. Shanahan and Saleh worked together in Houston, albeit on opposite sides of the ball from 2006 to 2009.
Saleh has three years of position coach experience. This would be a significant promotion in any situation, but with Kyle Shanahan likely focused on the offensive side of the ball, it is that much more important. Saleh will get a lot of responsibility in helming the 49ers defense.
Here’s a look at his resume.
2002-03: Assistant Coach, Michigan State
2004: Assistant Coach, Central Michigan
2005: Assistant Coach, Georgia
2005: Defensive intern, Houston Texans
2006-08: Defensive quality control, Houston Texans
2009-10: Assistant linebackers, Houston Texans
2011-13: Defensive quality control, Seattle Seahawks
2014-16: Linebackers, Jacksonville Jaguars