Week after week we’ve been putting up heat-o-meter after heat-o-meter to see how disgruntled the San Francisco 49ers fanbase is with Robert Saleh as defensive coordinator. To make a long story short, he’s playing backups of backups, but his defense is bad. It’s nothing near Jim O’Neil numbers, but it’s had far too many errors with the players getting in sync with communication and while some are being accountable, one has to ask why everyone isn’t on the same page in the first place.
A lot have been calling for Saleh’s head, but if Kyle Shanahan’s latest vote of confidence means anything, the defensive coordinator isn’t going anywhere. In his press conference Friday, Shanahan spoke on Saleh and his future with the 49ers:
“Saleh is a very, very good coach. He always has been, he still is and he’s not a finished product either, like we all aren’t. I think Saleh will continue to get better because he works at it, he’s very smart and I think he’s good right now.”
There hasn’t been any indication on patience wearing thin with Saleh within the 49ers inner circle and if this quote is any indication, there won’t be any in the near future. Saleh’s defense has been blasted by injuries (don’t get us started on the safeties) and lacking a pass rusher to really be dynamic. While many can (and rightly should) be skeptical, this is Saleh’s second year of a defensive coordinator, working with what he has.
Let’s see what he can do with a pass rusher and a safety unit at full strength, then we’ll truly pass judgment. But the heat-o-meter can’t leave, not this year.