Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Conflicting reports on Robert Saleh’s interview with Lions, with one suggesting 49ers DC ‘did not do very well’

Jan 9, 2021 at 9:10 AM--


San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has expressed confidence that his defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, would do well in any head-coaching job interview. Saleh interviewed with the Detroit Lions on Thursday, a job for which many consider him to be the favorite. One NFL insider suggests that particular interview may not have gone as well as Shanahan might expect or Saleh might have hoped.

"Saleh did not do very well in the Detroit interview, I was told. And is not a shoo-in to get the job," Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle said during a radio interview with SportsTalk 790's Adam Clanton and Adam Wexler (via Detroit Sports Nation, h/t to Patrick Tulini).

There is a lot to interpret from the statement. Did the interview not go well because Saleh doesn't necessarily fit what the Lions' brain trust is searching for or envisioning for their club? Or did Saleh interview poorly, which might seem less likely to some.

There is a conflicting report, though, stating that the interview did go well.

"According to a well-placed source, the Detroit Lions interview with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh went 'great.' However, the Lions have yet to make an offer," said Jeff Lesson of 97.1 The Ticket (again, via Detroit Sports Nation).

A Lions beat writer for the Detroit Free Press, Dave Birkett, also stated that the Lions' interview with Saleh was not as dire as Wilson suggests.


Saleh has taken part in three interviews so far. He also interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons on Monday and the New York Jets on Friday. The coach is scheduled to speak with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday.

The only team with a head-coaching vacancy that has not reached out to the 49ers about Saleh are the Houston Texans.

Meanwhile, head coach Kyle Shanahan fully expects to be without Saleh going forward.

"I was very happy with what he did throughout the whole year," Shanahan said after the 49ers' Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. "I would be very surprised if we don't lose him. I don't know what's wrong with people if they don't hire him. I mean, he's as good as you can get, and he knows more about football, all three phases, and he's going to hire the best staff, knows about players, he knows what they're talking about, who doesn't know what they're talking about, and he also knows how to deal with people."



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