Kyle’s update, 12:50 p.m.: The Chargers have requested to interview Saleh.
Chargers requested permission to interview 49ers' DC Robert Saleh, who interviewed last night with the Falcons, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2021
On Monday, 49ers Vice President of Personnel Adam Peters's name was thrown out for both the Panthers and the Broncos general manager job. San Francisco’s general manager John Lynch confirmed that Peters is set to interview with Carolina, per the Panthers' request.
It feels like a forgone conclusion that defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is on his way out. Kyle Shanahan joked that he hopes teams aren’t smart and Saleh stays in San Francisco. We can add a couple of other names Shanahan hopes to keep, as NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported that Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris interviewed for Atlanta’s head coaching job last Friday and will interview for the same position in Jacksonville this Friday. Silver said that Morris would target 49ers run-game coordinator Mike McDaniel as his offensive coordinator.
Unlike in years past, teams can no longer block coordinators who don’t call plays from leaving for true coordinator positions with other teams. When Lynch was asked about Peters and Saleh on Monday, the Niners general manager said, “so it’s really more of a notification than ask for permission because of the rules and how they’re constructed.” He sounded like a guy that knows there’s nothing the team can do to prevent the loss of McDaniel or passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur—something the team has prevented in previous seasons.
There have been rumors about Saleh poaching LaFleur to be his offensive coordinator going on for a while now, and Silver added that LaFleur would be Saleh’s offensive coordinator if he’s hired. This would be the first time LaFleur calls plays, but he’s had a decent play-caller that’s groomed LaFleur during his time in San Francisco. Saleh and the LaFleur’s have a strong relationship. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was the best man at Saleh’s wedding.
How would losing two coordinators affect the 49ers' offense?
It’d be naive to think Shanahan is the only person responsible for the 49ers' offensive success. Both of his coordinators and the other coaches who help put a game plan together should all get credit for the offense's success. In 2019, McDaniels added wrinkles to the running game that nobody had seen before. This season, despite all of the injuries, San Francisco had the fifth-most explosive passing plays, per Sharp Football Stats. LaFleur received the game ball after the 49ers beat the Packers 37-8 during the regular season in 2019. That’s the photo for this article.
With that said, a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo under center next year, and with Shanahan calling the plays, the Niners' offense will be OK. In 2020 we learned that the coaching staff is good enough to keep the offense afloat with a backup quarterback. In 2019 we learned what a healthy 49ers offense is capable of.
I’m curious to see how McDaniels or LaFleur pan out if they are hired and if Shanahan’s coach tree continues to grow.