The San Francisco 49ers are expected to introduce Kyle Shanahan later this week, but in the meantime, rumors are swirling about candidates for his coaching staff. On Sunday NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that Shanahan is targeting Robert Saleh for the defensive coordinator role.
Saleh was expected to join Anthony Lynn in Los Angeles as the Chargers linebackers coach, but that might be changing. Saleh spent the last three seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach. He had spent the previous three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, and followed Gus Bradley to the Jaguars.
Saleh’s connection to Kyle Shanahan is the Houston Texans. Saleh started his coaching career in college football, and then got his first NFL job with the Texans. He served as a defensive intern in 2005, defensive quality control coach from 2006 to 2008, and then assistant linebackers coach in 2009 and 2010. Shanahan was the Texans wide receivers coach in 2006, quarterbacks coach in 2007, and offensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009.
Shanahan had been interested in Gus Bradley, but he joined the Chargers as their defensive coordinator. There were also rumors the 49ers approached the Chicago Bears about Vic Fangio, but Chicago rebuffed them. Raheem Morris would have made sense as well, but Dan Quinn is not letting his assistant head coach leave for a non-head coach job.
Here is a look at Robert Saleh’s full 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