Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


NFL shares 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 10 lessons of coaching

Jun 27, 2020 at 4:28 PM--


San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is likely on a path to a head coaching job in the NFL. That could happen sooner rather than later. That could have happened in January, but the Cleveland Browns opted to go with former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski over Saleh. That bought 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan at least another year with his defensive coordinator.

Shanahan didn't hide his excitement after Saleh didn't get the job.

"I was pumped," Shanahan told reporters in January. "... I was extremely excited. I definitely have some empathy for Saleh. I know anyone who goes through that process and stuff, we're all competitive, and you want to win, and you want to get that opportunity and stuff.

"Every year we keep him, we'll be very fortunate. Saleh's going to be a head coach in this league. He could have been one this year. Most likely, he'll be one next year. But he's going to have the right opportunity come around for him. It's just a matter of time.

"I'm just very happy that we're going to have him going into next [season]."


On June 23, Saleh took part in the NFL's third annual Quarterback Coaching Summit. The NFL created an Instagram post of the defensive coordinator's 10 lessons of coaching (h/t to Patrick Tulini). They are as follows:

  1. Ignore the noise, trust the process.
  2. Do what you love and love what you do with enthusiasm and passion.
  3. This profession (coaching) is hard! Dominate the things you have control over.
  4. Ready vs. prepared, there's a difference. Prepare for everything.
  5. The three most dangerous words: "I got it." You must approach each day with humility to get better.
  6. The NFL is a precision league. Every detail matters.
  7. Stay true to yourself, be authentic.
  8. Relationships matter, seek accountability.
  9. Put together the right team, create an identity.
  10. Invest in your team, make everybody around you better.


Saleh spoke about No. 5 a little bit during the team's State of the Franchise event, which was posted online this past week. He was discussing the continuity of the roster and how that is a benefit. It could, however, also be a player's downfall if he assumes too much.

"The three most dangerous words in this league are 'I got it'; in life, is to assume that you have it," Saleh said. "And the challenge is to have humility and to focus on getting better every single day, and take the knowledge that you've gained over the last three years and try to find a way to apply it to year four so we can try to get back to where we were."





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