49ers officially announce hiring of Robert Saleh as defensive coordinator

Feb 17, 2017 at 3:08 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers have officially announced the hiring of Robert Saleh, who will serve as the defensive coordinator on head coach Kyle Shanahan's staff. News of the hire was first reported on Monday by Adam Caplan of ESPN. The news came as the team officially announced nine additions, including Saleh, to the coaching staff.

Saleh, the linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars since 2014, was reportedly set to join the Los Angeles Chargers in the same role. Former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, who the 49ers tried to lure as their own defensive coordinator, joined the Chargers instead, and planned on taking Saleh with him.

Saleh was among two candidates interviewed last Friday for the vacant position on head coach Kyle Shanahan's staff. The other was Atlanta Falcons defensive passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson, who worked on the same staff with Shanahan in 2016.

RELATED Tracker: Kyle Shanahan's 49ers Coaching Staff

Saleh, 38, will be NFL's third-youngest defensive coordinator and the 49ers' first rookie defensive coordinator since Greg Manusky was hired in 2007.

Saleh's NFL coaching career kicked off in 2005 as an intern working with the Houston Texans defense. In 2006, he was hired as a defensive quality control coach for the Texans and then promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2009. In 2011, Saleh joined the Seattle Seahawks as their defensive quality control coach, where he remained for three seasons. He was part of their 2013 championship season when they defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

The 49ers will reportedly return to a 4-3 defense, the same system that Gus Bradley runs and a system that Saleh has worked within since 2011. The move could be a big change for the 49ers' top draft picks over the past two years. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner were brought in to fit the team's 3-4 scheme and work with edge defending linebackers on the outside. The transition might mean a shift in responsibility for one of those players. Of course, it is entirely possible that free agency or the draft addresses one or more of the needs necessary to properly shift to the 4-3.

On Friday morning, Shanahan spoke about Saleh on KNBR. Shanahan and Saleh met in Houston when the 49ers head coach served as a receivers coach there and Saleh was the defensive quality control coach.

Saleh worked with Gus Bradley's defense with the Seattle Seahawks and then went with him to Jacksonville when Bradley became the head coach. Saleh's experience with that system influenced Shanahan's decision to bring him aboard. Shanahan called Seattle's defense very sound, disciplined, and tough to go up against. That is what the 49ers want to create under Shanahan.

"They make you work all the way down the field," Shanahan said. "When someone makes you work all the way down the field, no matter how talented they are, you have to be on as an offense to score points because you can get to the red zone, you can get yards, but in order to get touchdowns, you have to execute. And it's a defense that makes you execute."

"Robert Saleh is as smart as anyone I've been around," Shanahan added. "He studies everything. He knows a lot of different systems but he knows the true Seattle/Atlanta/Jacksonville system inside and out as much as anybody I've been with."

In 2016, Jim O'Neil served as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers within Chip Kelly's staff. Under his helm, the 49ers defense ranked last in the league. The unit had given up an average of 31.0 points per game (32nd), 424.9 yards per game (32nd), and a league-high 176.3 rushing yards (32nd). No team in 49ers franchise history has given up more rushing yards than the 2016 squad.



Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers vs. Broncos defensive grades: Another defensive masterclass ruined for the 49ers

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 28

The San Francisco 49ers suffered another head-scratching loss, this time to the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football by the score of 11-10, in a game where the defensive brilliance could not overcome the offensive woes. Here are the defensive grades for the 49ers in Week 3: Defensive Line: A About 90 minutes prior to game time, reports surfaced that the 49ers would be without star defensive tackle Arik Armstead, potentially making the matchup even tougher, especially with San Francisco facing off against the strong running back duo of Javonte Williams and



49ers vs. Seahawks defensive grades: Defense continues to be dominant in blankout

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 20

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 27-7, earning their first victory of the 2022 campaign, but it came with bad news, as second-year quarterback Trey Lance is expected to miss the rest of the 2022 campaign with an ankle fracture. Here are the defensive grades for the 49ers in Week 2: Defensive Line: A Nick Bosa continued his dominance, recording two sacks in the 27-7 bout, while also having a team-high seven pressures on the day as the leader of the defensive line. The 49ers' defensive line shut down the Seattle running game,



49ers Notebook: Talanoa Hufanga's improvement; Brian Griese's impact; DJ Jones talks 49ers; Why is Jimmy G so loud?

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 22

Today marked another day of media rounds for the San Francisco 49ers, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and run game coordinator/offensive line coach Chris Foerster being among those to speak to reporters in Santa Clara. Among the topics discussed in those media sessions were the improvement of safety Talanoa Hufanga, the impact of new quarterbacks coach Brian Griese, and where Jimmy Garoppolo gets his vocal power from. There were also some quotes of note to come from outside 49ers facilities, including some thoughts from former 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones as he gets set to face his former team when the 49ers face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night. Here's a rundown of those topics and more in this version of 49ers



49ers Notebook: The Trent Williams effect; Shanahan on his decision to decline key penalty; A familiar face haunts 49ers

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 26

The sooner everyone moves on from the 49ers' dreadful 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night the better. But first, let's tie up some loose ends to come from Sunday's postgame interviews. Much of the postgame discussion surrounded the performance of the 49ers' offense, which was poor enough to squander a defensive effort that held the Broncos' offense to just nine points. But there was also some honesty regarding the loss of left tackle Trent Williams, some insight from head coach Kyle Shanahan on why he declined an important first half penalty, and much more. Let's get into a roundup of some of Sunday's postgame comments in this edition of 49ers Notebook. George Kittle's honesty on the loss of Trent Williams and the performance of the


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone