Jets latest team to interview 49ers' Saleh for coaching job

·2 min read

NEW YORK — The New York Jets became the latest NFL team to interview San Francisco 49ers defensive co-ordinator Robert Saleh for a head coaching vacancy.

Saleh is one of the most popular candidates among the six teams looking for a new coach. In addition to his interview with New York on Friday, Saleh has also spoken to Detroit and Atlanta.

The 41-year-old 49ers assistant is the third known candidate to have a remote meeting with the Jets. They interviewed Kansas City offensive co-ordinator Eric Bieniemy on Wednesday and former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis on Thursday. New York has requested several more interviews in what is expected to be a lengthy and comprehensive process.

The Jets fired Adam Gase last Sunday after he went 9-23 in two years, including 2-14 this season.

Saleh has been the 49ers' defensive co-ordinator under Kyle Shanahan since 2017, overseeing San Francisco's defence that ranked No. 2 overall on the way to the Super Bowl last season. The 49ers were fifth this season despite season-ending injuries to pass rushers Nick Bosa — the 2019 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year — and Dee Ford, as well as defensive linemen Solomon Thomas and Ezekiel Ansah.

Saleh began his coaching career in 2002 as a defensive assistant at Michigan State for two seasons, followed by stints at Central Michigan and Georgia. He joined the Houston Texans in 2005 as a defensive intern under Dom Capers and worked three seasons as a defensive quality control coach under Gary Kubiak before being promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2009.

Saleh joined Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle as a defensive quality control coach in 2011 before being hired by Gus Bradley in 2014 as Jacksonville's linebackers coach.

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Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press