As a young boy growing up in Dearborn, Michigan Robert Saleh would often wear his Barry Sanders jersey everyday to school as a kid. And now with a coaching vacancy open in his hometown, there’s an opportunity most coaches would dream of. After the departure of Matt Patricia who ended his career in Detroit with a 13-29-1 record, The Detroit Lions ownership is taking firm of the search for a new GM and Coach.
This week the Lions are planning to interview interim head coach Darrell Bevell, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, along with Robert Saleh, who has been the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator the last three years.
In those three years the 49ers defense has been of the best in the league in terms of pass-rush and defending against the pass even after suffering injuries, earning them a Super Bowl LIV berth in 2020. Meanwhile on other hand, the Detroit Lions have had one of the worst defensives in the league the last couple years, currently last in the league in yards allowed.
The last thing the front office should be concerned with is the offense, which has been solid as of recently, even without the 2019 touchdown leader in Kenny Golladay.
Now you may be thinking, why would you hire a defensive coordinator after just firing a past defensive coordinator? Well the answer is simple, two very different people with completely different resumes. Matt Patricia, who has three Super Bowl rings was widely regarded as a defensive guru which wasn’t the case at all. Head coach candidates come from all different environments, example being Matt Patricia in charge of a Bill Belichick defense before coming to the Lions, and following his departure the New England Patriots were first in defense the year after. My guess is that they didn’t miss him very much. Robert Saleh is a different story, winning a ring under Pete Carroll during the legion of boom era and now turning this San Francisco 49ers defense completely around he has earned himself a head coaching job in this league. With that being said as much football as the man knows he is an unquestioned leader.
Just watching the tape it’s clear players rally behind him. Regardless if its with the Detroit Lions or the plenty of openings throughout the league, Robert Saleh will be finding himself a new home in 2021. The video below shows Richard Sherman raving about Saleh when asked about his possible departure in the off-season.