Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Richard Sherman on Robert Saleh: ‘He has to get the Detroit job’

Nov 30, 2020 at 1:51 PM--

Robert Saleh's stock is on the rise. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman praised his defensive coordinator after his team's 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

"I expect him to be a head coach next year because of what he's able to do," Sherman told reporters via Zoom. "He's able to rally men. He's a leader of men, and that goes a long way."

The Detroit Lions have a head-coaching vacancy, and Sherman laid out to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated why he thinks Saleh should get the job.

"He has to get the Detroit job," Sherman texted to Breer after the game. "Homegrown. He's a great leader of men. And he's not stubborn. He doesn't just think he has all the answers. He comes up with a great plan and evolves it with his players."

What Saleh has done this season has been remarkable. Yes, he guided a talent-rich top defense last season — a unit that was a big part of the 49ers' Super Bowl run — but this season has been different. Injuries have decimated the roster, yet Saleh's defense ranks No. 6 in total yards allowed per game, No. 4 against the pass, No. 10 against the run, and No. 11 in points allowed per game.

And Saleh's defense (for the most part) put on a show on Sunday against the Rams, forcing four turnovers. It was almost as if the coordinator were auditioning for a head-coaching job.

"We battle for that man!" Sherman continued in the text. "He's a great human being. Makes you want to fight for him."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan knows he won't have Saleh with him forever. He thought maybe he might lose his defensive coordinator after last season and was relieved when the Cleveland Browns chose Kevin Stefanski over Saleh.

"I'm always concerned. I never want to lose Saleh," Shanahan said after Sunday's game. "I never want to lose any of our coaches, to tell you the truth. I thought he deserved [a head coach job] last year. Whether this game happened or not, it's a matter of time before he becomes one. I keep telling him don't be mad at me, because I know he's going to become one eventually."

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