Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Schrager: 49ers’ Robert Saleh a possible candidate for Lions head coaching job

Nov 29, 2020 at 10:18 AM--

News broke on Saturday that the Detroit Lions had fired both head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. That, of course, kicked off speculation on who the team might seek for the coaching vacancy.

One name that has come up during that speculation is San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Peter Schrager joined FOX NFL Sunday and shared that the Lions and Saleh link may be more than just speculation. It appears to be gaining some steam in Detroit.

"Everyone is talking about the new offensive mastermind that's going to come into Detroit and be their next head coach," said Schrager. "Let me bring up another name that's getting a lot of heat in circles around Detroit. That's Robert Saleh, who is the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers.

"Saleh has some real roots in the state of Michigan. He was born and raised in Dearborn, two miles from the facility. … He grew up idolizing Barry Sanders, played at Northern Michigan University, went to Michigan State for a master's degree. Also coached at Michigan State, and his family is all still there."

Saleh has served as the 49ers defensive coordinator since 2017 when head coach Kyle Shanahan took over the team.

Saleh guided a talent-rich top defense last season, helping the team reach the Super Bowl. This season, his defense ranks No. 7 in total yards allowed despite losing several key components to injuries and working with a continually changing hodge-podge of personnel.

The 49ers defense is tied for fourth in passing yards allowed, ranks 10th in passing yards allowed, and 11th in points allowed.

Added Schrager: "Robert Saleh could be a very popular pick in Detroit."

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