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Shanahan pumped that the Browns didn’t hire Saleh

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“Every year we keep him, we’ll be very fortunate”

Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

When the Cleveland Browns hired Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as head coach on Sunday, the reviews were mixed. Some San Francisco 49ers feel like the team will be fine without defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Others feel like Saleh is a big part of the Niner’s success on defense. I’m in the camp that Saleh’s preparation is the most critical part. The defense has a great gameplan 80% of the time, and the players do a great job executing. Saleh’s in-game adjustment leaves a bit to be desired, but his initial gameplan from who to takeaway to getting his players in advantageous matchups are as good as it gets.

Kyle Shanahan was excited when Saleh didn’t get the job in Cleveland:

I was pumped. I heard on my way in to work, so I was extremely excited. I definitely have some empathy for Saleh. I know anyone who goes through that process and stuff, we’re all competitive, and you want to win, and you want to get that opportunity and stuff, but for Saleh, every year we keep him, we’ll be very fortunate. Saleh’s going to be a head coach in this league. He could’ve been one this year. Most likely, he’ll be one next year. He’s going to have the right opportunity come around for him; it’s just a matter of time. I’m just very happy that we’re going to be able to have him going into next year.”

On replacing Saleh:

”It would’ve been very hard. There’s definitely guys on our staff who I’ve got a lot of confidence in and stuff, but it’s always in the back of your head, but I’ve got a lot of other stuff on my mind right now that they’re definitely in front of that, so that was something that I kind of put in a box and tied it up and put it away. I thought we would deal with that when the season ended. Now I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it. Maybe we’ll talk next year about that.”

On the success of young coaches:

”I think everything you’ve got to look at individually. [Green Bay Packers Head Coach] Matt [LaFleur] is a good coach, and he’s on a good team with a good quarterback. I think they have stayed fairly healthy, and that’s what you expect to happen. I don’t think much has to do with age. I think it has to do with people and opportunities. There’s a lot of older coaches who are real good in this league. There’s a lot of younger coaches, and now that I’m 40, I consider myself a decent older coach, but these young guys are doing alright too.”

On if he told Saleh he was pumped Saleh didn’t get the job, and the benefit of having Saleh around another year:

”He knows me well enough to know how I am, but I’m definitely excited he didn’t get it, and that’s not just for selfish reasons because I care a lot about this organization too. So, it definitely helps me, but it helps this whole organization and I think it will help Saleh in the long run. Like I said, he’s going to be a head coach, he just needs the right opportunity, and he’s going to keep getting better and better too.”

”So he can be in California for another year. It really helps him save money, the insurance.”

Shanahan said that there haven’t been any requests from a team to interview his other coordinators or coaches on the staff. Here is Shanahan on the possibility of Saleh poaching a coach off the Niners staff:

”There’s always a concern, always. I know we’ve got a lot of good coaches on our staff, and we’ve been fortunate enough to keep them around here. But, yeah that would have been a concern, that would have been a tough part on our relationship. I would have never talked to him again if he did that [laughter].”