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January 12, 2021

Report: Eagles to interview 49ers DC Robert Saleh for vacant HC job

The Philadelphia Eagles have requested to interview San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for their vacant head coaching job, according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN: 

Saleh would likely already be a head coach, if not for a coaching search a year ago that worked against him. He was a hot name, but because the 49ers went to the Super Bowl, and because there were only three head coaching openings, he had to wait a year. 

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Saleh has been around the league a bit, as he has had jobs with four NFL teams, and three colleges:

• Michigan State (2002–2003): Defensive assistant
• Central Michigan (2004): Defensive assistant
• Georgia (2005): Defensive assistant
• Houston Texans (2005): Defensive intern
• Houston Texans (2006–2008): Defensive quality control coach
• Houston Texans (2009–2010): Assistant linebackers coach
• Seattle Seahawks (2011–2013): Defensive quality control coach
• Jacksonville Jaguars (2014–2016): Linebackers coach
• San Francisco 49ers (2017–present): Defensive coordinator

Here are the Niners' defensive rankings in the four years Saleh has been their defensive coordinator: 

 YearPoints Yards Takeaways DVOA 
 201725 24 20 26 
 201828 13 32 24 
 202017 21 

The Niners' defense was outstanding in 2019, and Saleh kept that unit playing at a high level (sixth in DVOA) in 2020 despite suffering an abnormal number of injuries at all three levels of the defense.

MORE: Report: Eagles have already reached out to Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley | What is Jeffrey Lurie looking for in the next head coach of the Eagles?

Saleh is known for his demonstrative emotion on the sidelines during games, something his players seem to respond to: 

If the Eagles were to hire Saleh, that would come as something of a surprise, given Jeffrey Lurie's strong leanings toward offensive-minded head coaches, though it is believed that Saleh could bring a Kyle Shanahan understudy with him wherever he lands: 

Next up: Arthur Smith.

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MORE: With Pederson gone, Lurie leaves door wide open for Wentz to be back with Eagles | Why would any coach sign up to be the next Doug Pederson?

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