Eagles request to interview 49ers DC for Head Coaching vacancy

NFL: SEP 13 Cardinals at 49ers
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 13: San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh walks off the field after the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals on September 13, 2020, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire)

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles have requested to interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for their vacant Head Coaching role.

This does come as a slight surprise given that the Eagles typically favor offensive-minded Head Coaches, but it’s a pleasant one.

Saleh may well be one of the brightest Head Coaching candidates on the market and is preparing for a second interview with the New York Jets. Widely renowned for his fiery personality and ability to get the best out of his players, Saleh somehow guided a Niners defense that was ravaged by injuries all year long to a truly dominant year.

Ranking fifth in yards allowed, fourth in passing yards allowed, and seventh in rushing yards allowed. They also ranked 10th in QB hurries despite being without both cornerstone edge rushers, and only allowed 25 passing touchdowns. The Niners also ranked fifth in opposing YAC allowed (1,673), which is a huge contrast to what we saw in Philadelphia, who surrendered 1,932 yards after the catch.

In 2019, the Niners ranked sixth in forced turnovers and in total defense. With a healthy defensive line, they also tallied 48 sacks, ranking fourth in the NFL.

Saleh started coaching as a defensive assistant at Michigan State back in 2002 before getting his first NFL gig in 2005 as an intern with the Teexans. After a promotion to LB Coach and a move to Seattle, he eventually followed Gus Bradley to the Jaguars, where he’d coach the position for three seasons. He’s retained his spot as Niners defensive coordinator ever since, achieving nothing but greatness along the way.

There’s no doubting Saleh’s prowess or his impressive resume, but will it be enough to sway Jeffrey Lurie into hiring him? The Eagles owner reportedly wants a ‘leader of coaches’ and while Saleh fits that bill, it’s safe to say the other side of the ball needs the most work right now.

Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire