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Jets Name Robert Saleh as Head Coach

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the New York Jets have hired Robert Saleh as their new head coach, signing him to a five-year contract. 

Saleh's NFL coaching career started in 2005, when he joined the Houston Texans as a defensive intern. He was named defensive quality control coach the next year, and has since coached for the Seahawks and Jaguars. He joined the San Francisco 49ers as defensive coordinator in 2018; his teams have finished 24th, second, and sixth in defensive DVOA. 


66 comments, Last at 21 Jan 2021, 3:49pm

4 Yes, you've changed it to…

In reply to by Tom Gower

Yes, you've changed it to reflect your parallel universe, but it's fake news in my Sportsmax timeline, which claims the Jets still have no coach and yet are playing this weekend.

37 I am curious why the Lions…

I am curious why the Lions didn't try harder to lock Saleh up.  He's from the area and might have been inclined to go back home.  I heard vague reports that Saleh's interview with the Lions didn't go well, but nothing specific about what not going well entailed. 

I would have thought Saleh and LaFleur could have done a lot with that Lions team. 

2 Damn it, my jinx on the…

Damn it, my jinx on the other thread worked.  Shanahan's gone apparently, so the Jets could try for him now.

5 I think Saleh made a good…

I think Saleh made a good choice. Jets have good cap and  high draft position. Chargers job seems to be the only one that is better this one.

Big loss for 49ers. Shanahan was able to be both HC and OC because Saleh took care of the defense entirely.   

38 DeMeco Ryans will be the new…

DeMeco Ryans will be the new 49ers DC.  I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do.  Saleh would have taken him to NY with him to DC there if the 49ers hadn't promoted him.  That's one thing about the 49ers; they get very young and very bright people in their coaching pipeline.  That's made possible by the Yorks, who do not stint on coaching salaries.

I heard in 2019 that the 49ers attributed their big jump in defense (to #2 DVOA) more to DL coach Kris Kocurek than to Saleh.  What Saleh managed to do this year with a decimated DL certainly changed that narrative.

7 I'm sorry but the Chargers…

I'm sorry but the Chargers job sucks. This is still the same owner who had Philip Rivers and Drew Brees on his team, never even made it to a Super Bowl, and got nothing in return for Brees when he left. Spanos is poor(for an NFL owner), cheap, and has infested the organization with his dim-witted spawn. The team is homeless and has no fan base. I know Herbert just had a great rookie season, but unless he was created in a lab by combining the DNA of Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana it doesn't matter one bit. The Chargers are where careers go to die.

9 While it's fun to make light…

While it's fun to make light of the Johnsons, they haven't been cheap.  They have meddled (Tebow), but not to the extent that Jerry Jones has, or to the extent that Khan is claiming he will.  Supposedly Joe Douglas is leading the hiring process for a head coach.  While they did have the Buttfumble, they haven't had their medical staff injure their starting quarterback, unlike the Chargers.  The Lions could be a better landing spot, but until the team hired a GM you don't know.  I am pretty sure the Eagles have to be the worst spot to go to; they are 50 million over the cap, are tied to a quarterback coming off a disaster of a year unlike any of the other openings (even the Jets can get rid of Darnold easily), and still have the GM who got them into cap trouble, drafted their current quarterback and didn't get along with his last two coaches.  Why anyone would want to be the third, I don't know.  But Colin Cowherd thought it was the second best opening.

10 Jets

Well jets have not win recently 

 No pressure. If saleh maakes tema get into playofds by 2022 season, will be jailed as hero. 

Team has like six picks in first 100 picks oe sometjinf like that. Picks 2, 23, 34 and skme others 

Current quarterback is blowish buf can fix that by drafting quartwrback or making joe flacco rhe starter. He could maybe have late career revival liek r

 Gannon withRaiders 


Compate to otjer openings-


The good- Good young quarterback, nice stadium. Not nicer than qualcomm stadoum or kicky ball stadium in carson city but still okay. Downgraed due to roof

Some good playrrs ondefsene

 Bosa, Perryman,hayward, murray, some others. D. James getting injured toomuch. Does not help ñsituation.

The bad- mist contend wirh Chiefa and Raiders. 

The ugly- Owner is the Chargers of owners.  

 Broncos - they have no clue what they ar doing anymore 

So, you see chargrrs job mixed vag. Owner is crap, quarerback good, defense  some good players, division tough


Liions-Marvin lewis would be interesing there...could get them jn right direction. He would fix problems there.  Defense would play bwtter for sure. If Stafford stsays, maybe good, maybe bad. Good football minds coudl argue eithwr way on Stafford. Seems tough job to take. A new, boring head coach like B. Daboll or D. Bevell would be bad way to go. Need new guy wth some pep in his step OR retread guy M. Lewis. M. Lewis will get tema turned around.


Falcons- seems crappy job. Quarterback jn place but talk of franchise wantjng tl move on. Think that js mistake. Culture of blowing games neeeds to be eradicated.  In tough division.  Saimts, buccaneers, nsd Panths could all be gooid next dew years.

Texans- quarterback in place buf nlt happy. Holess All over rroster. Salary cap issues. Traded away good draft picks. Roster crappy in moist Spots. 

EEags- do like Jerod Mayo in general sense.. but id come to Eags with slippy quarterbaxk situation, 2021 season could end up as quarterback disaster again which willl make new hrad coach look like moron. Philadelphia fans between bites of pretzels, Chick-O-Sticks, or cheesesteaks, will be complaining aboit new guy aftwr one season and will want to finger him like they fingered Santa Claus


Did think Jets jib was good. Nowhere to go but up.

You xan see my Jaguars thiughts in Urban Meyer thread.

Loins depends on crappiness of new coach. 

Falcons , Eags and Texans- tough jobs to take. New coaches in these spots have a lot of work to do.

14 will be jailed as hero You,…

In reply to by Raiderjoe

will be jailed as hero

You, sir, are a poet.

I'd also add, both Bosa and Ingram have worrisome injury histories, and Ingram also isn't exactly young anymore. With James, that's 3 major pillars of the theoretically-quality defense that are awfully shaky - making the position even less desirable than it looks on paper.

15 Addedsome

Added spme stuff

.t.took ingram before saw your post

 Yes, waa injured last year

.d.id see some good plays frpm him but probably missed half the seaspn

.b.beyond age 30 too

30 Raiders' DC hire

In reply to by Raiderjoe

RJ, what do you think of Gus Bradley as the new DC for Vegas? I wish they had fired Guenther after 2019 and hired Wade Phillips, but maybe Bradley at least gets the Raiders' defense to mediocrity.

53 G. Bradley tremendous move…

In reply to by MaineRaider

G. Bradley tremendous move. Will work wonders for Raiders.  Did nto pan out as head coahc with Jaguars. Bur that is crappy team. Had no clue what tjeu were doing.  Bradley not runming whole Raiders team anyway. Very fine coordinator

 Will help get Raiders afc west crown in 2021

19 "Liions-Marvin lewis would…

In reply to by Raiderjoe

"Liions-Marvin lewis would be interesing there"

Lewis would be an unexciting hire that people would complain about(Caldwell 2.0), but he already has experience building a consistent winner in a dysfunctional organization that's used to losing.  At this point, I can only hope for a return to the previous lofty heights of losing in the Wildcard round.

57 No.  I didn’t say it would…

No.  I didn’t say it would be a bad hire, just an unexciting one.  When you have a rookie GM, maybe getting a coach with previous experience may be the way to go.   Even if Lewis never won a playoff game, winning 4 division titles when you share a division with the Ravens and Steelers is impressive on its own. 

25 The JETS situation

In reply to by Raiderjoe

The JETS may not be in as easy a division as it has in the past. Where a quick run to second and a wild card seemed possible. The Bills and Dolphins may have their future QBs for the next decade or so, the PATS still are around and Bill probably has five more year in him. The division may be swinging back to what it was two decades ago when the top teams really slugged it out. In this case, the JETS feel behind the eight ball in talent and have to leap frog 3 franchises. That's a tough haul. 

29 I don't think the Jets quite…

I don't think the Jets quite tanked at the level that the Browns did, but they're pretty well poised for the beginning of an uphill climb. They're not quite as well positioned as the Jaguars (or Colts) are in free agency, but they're still 2nd in the league in cap space with a good amount of players rostered, and they've got a nice amount of draft potential in the next few years.

Biggest downside with the Jets is that they don't really have much to build on, and Saleh had a *lot* to work with at the 49ers. So it'll be interesting to see if he can put together a jerry-rigged defense next year and be patient with fixing the offense. I'll be *super* suspicious if they go and pick Fields right away (assuming Jacksonville takes Lawrence).

31 I disagree and think the…

I disagree and think the Jets have some talent on defense.  They desperately need a starting CB and a starter at edge.  If they can get just decent players at those positions as stopgaps and Moseley returns somewhere near his former performance, the defense will be solid.  

35 Solution at CB (at least for short term)?

Perhaps Saleh can recruit Richard Sherman.  The Jets have the cap room the 49ers lack to make that happen.  As a 49ers fan, I can say that Richard is a guy you love to have on your team.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the defense improved when he arrived.  He’s been playing well even for his advanced-by-NFL age.

43 That would be interesting,…

That would be interesting, particularly given Sherman's feud with Darrelle Revis back in the day.  I always respected the heck out his game and, particularly, his intelligence, although I found his mouth kind of annoying at times!  The Jets have several young CBs that have shown some promise but need a lot more polish (rookie Bryce Hall being the best among them).  Is Sherman a coach on the field, mentor kind of guy or does he stick to doing his own thing? 

47 I mean, considering you just…

I mean, considering you just said "they desperately need guys at the two most important/expensive/hard to find positions in defense"...

I mean, they might get lucky and be able to snag an actual solid CB/rusher in free agency due to the cap drop insanity. Totally possible. But this is a bad year to be looking for rusher/CB in the draft, in my mind.

But really it's more just that if you've got a disaster at offense (which... they do), you'd *really* like some top end talent at defense so you can just identify things.

For instance, if you want to see what I mean, take the 2012/2013 Chiefs. Chiefs in 2012 were god-awful on defense. Last in DVOA. But they had multiple defensive Pro Bowlers in 2012 and several promising high-drafted rookies. That was one of the easiest turnarounds to see coming in the history of the NFL.

The Jets... don't. I mean, Quinnen Williams looks good. Yay? I'm not saying the other guys are bad, they're just not like, foundational pieces of a franchise to build on. The other thing, too, is that the Jets weren't god awful on defense last year, either. So it's not like the coaching was that bad.

Keep in mind all I'm saying is I don't see the Jets turning around and going 11-5 next year. I'm not exactly saying anything really critical.

49 There's several guys beyond…

There's several guys beyond Quinnen, but yeah 11-5 ain't happening.  Improvement (particularly on offense), development of young talent, being competitive in all or almost all the games is what you're looking for.  Getting to .500 would be a home run but not the base case. 

40 Biggest downside with the…

Biggest downside with the Jets is that they don't really have much to build on, and Saleh had a *lot* to work with at the 49ers.

Uhrm...didn't have a lot to start with when Saleh got there.  Didn't have much this past year, either.  The only stable group was the LB corps.  The DL and the secondary were slaughtered with injuries.  It's his work this year much more than his work last--when the 49ers were the #2 defense but with amazing talent--that landed him the job opportunities. 

If I had to guess, I'd say Saleh is attracted by the idea of rebuilding an utterly crappy franchise from the ground up, just like he did with Shanahan & Lynch in SF. 

45 Yeah, my point is that Saleh…

Yeah, my point is that Saleh didn't exactly do OMG AMAZING job this year. Not blaming him or anything, but the 49ers were *incredibly* up and down on defense this year, with some *great* performances (2nd Rams game) and *bad* performances (Dolphins game), which is exactly what you'd expect when a talented defense gets decimated by injuries over the year.

If I had to guess, I'd say Saleh is attracted by the idea of rebuilding an utterly crappy franchise from the ground up, just like he did with Shanahan & Lynch in SF. 

That's totally fair, and the Jets are decently positioned for success in a few years, like I said. They just don't look like a "watch me turn this thing around in a year" franchise, with my caveat that next year's FA will be weird as hell, so I could be very wrong there. "Weird as hell" in the sense that there are going to be far fewer teams involved in free agency in general, so who knows.

52 Not blaming him or anything,…

Not blaming him or anything, but the 49ers were *incredibly* up and down on defense this year, with some *great* performances (2nd Rams game) and *bad* performances (Dolphins game), which is exactly what you'd expect when a talented defense gets decimated by injuries over the year.

Well have to agree to disagree on that one.  The guy put together a good defense with *eight* of his starters missing significant time.  He had to completely change his style to one that involves heavy blitzing to generate pressure.  All this on the fly, during a pandemic.  It's easily more impressive than what he did last year, imo.

60 Also, this isn't like…

Also, this isn't like appointing Bill Belichick's defensive coordinator, or Peyton Manning's offensive coordinator, where it isn't clear how credit should be apportioned. I assume Shanahan has little to do with the defense in San Fran, so Salah gets most/all the credit there.

66 You can't judge Saleh by…

You can't judge Saleh by that Dolphins game.  SF had so many injuries in the secondary that they had to start Brian Allen at CB, whom they had just signed off the street three weeks earlier.  Miami knew it and kept torching him.  SF cut Allen after the game and he hasn't played again.

63 I meant they never made the…

I meant they never made the Super Bowl with Rivers or Brees. The 1994 Super Bowl was when the old man Alex Spanos was running the team. Since Deano took over it has been a clusterf*ck.

12 Very happy for Coach Saleh, and Jets fans should be too

I was among the Bay Area fans who stood up for Coach Saleh earlier in his tenure as DC, when the team was recovering from the post-Harbaugh years and needed to develop talent.  I thought he was a hard-working, organized, and decent person who had the energy and skill to build up the defense.  To 49ers fans' delight, he did just that.  Long-suffering J-E-T-S fans, you got a good one today!

13 This feels like a good…

This feels like a good appointment. Like most I wasn't aware of Salah's work until last season when SF reached the Super Bowl with a great defense. That unit was loaded, but then this year, when they were ravaged by injury and free agency departures, they were still top ten in DVOA, so it doesn't look like a one year wonder. His players seem to like/rate him - I note Sherman has come out and said so. It's about as solid a resume as you could hope for from a young coach. 

You can see the attraction from Salah's point of view, with the cap space and draft capital. I don't know enough about the ownership/off-field stuff with the Jets to have an opinion. It doesn't look ideal, but then neither do any of the other vacancies. An aspiring coach can't sit on his hands forever. 

The AFC East suddenly has a very different look about it. I wonder how many years of QB purgatory Belichick is prepared to plod through now that all three divisional opponents may have finally gotten their act together?

18 Damn, I was hoping the Lions…

Damn, I was hoping the Lions would get him, and him being from the area would help lure him.  I guess the problem with being a local guy is if you flame out, the whole town hates you, and you can't even visit your parents without someone giving you the finger as you go for a walk in the neighborhood.

My second choice was Bienemy or Arthur Smith, but apparently the Falcons and Smith are close to reaching a deal.

48 College coach is a whole…

College coach is a whole different ball of wax, and half the state roots for MSU anyway.

"Any insight into why the Loins didn't like Saleh better?"

No solid insight.  Rumors from "league sources" that he "didn't interview well", but I take that with multiple grains of salt.  They apparently really like Arthur Smith,  and booked him for a 2nd interview before he cancelled it to negotiate with the Falcons.

22 Tomlin, Belichick Personally…

Tomlin, Belichick

Personally, I'm just as sceptical about picking a head coach to be OC+.  Clearly Reid and (to a lesser extent) Shanahan/McVay show that this can work, but it can lead to a 'two teams under one roof' type situation

61 Of course

But that's because talent>coaching annnnnnd when Brady left Bill is exposed. Even if he's still good. Same with Tomlin last year, even though Ben didn't look that much better than his backups last year.

26 I think the biggest problem…

I think the biggest problem with hiring a defensive coordinator as head coach is that it leads to a lot of turnover with your offensive coordinator. Any team that does a good job developing their QB or that has an outstanding offense will inevitably have their OC hired as a head coach elsewhere.


I'm not convinced hiring that latest "offensive genius" is the smart move (their are only a handful of those guys), but as long as teams keep looking for the next McVay and Shanahan, those guys will keep getting hired away, leaving their teams to start over with a new coach for their QB.

34 That's the main problem.

What's the smart move then? Darnolds success hinges on another defensive HC finding the right OC. And if he turns him around, he's gone. Then your left hoping it was Darnold and not the OC.

27 I like that Saleh is a…

I like that Saleh is a grinder who worked his way up the ranks (after quitting a job in finance) rather than a former star.  There was a 2017 profile of him in Sports Illustrated that said as a junior coach he made himself in dispensable by teaching the older coaches how to modernize their methods with technology.  So although I haven't seen details, I'd imagine he'd be analytics friendly.  I also like that he played TE in college so that even though he's a defensive coach he actually has some background on the offensive side of the ball.  The HC has to coach the whole team.  This all seems positive, and the Jets appeared to follow a sensible process run by a reasonably well-respected GM.  Almost like a real, professional team.     

36 More good news

The San Jose Mercury News wrote that Saleh is expected to bring Mike LaFleur with him as OC.  LaF was the 49ers’ passing game coordinator.  Surely he picked up tips from Coach Shanahan, and on his watch Kittle, Samuel, and Aiyuk have performed well.  I’m ok with Jimmy G so that’s not a negative strike to me.

44 Yes, it's been widely…

In reply to by Stendhal1

Yes, it's been widely reported that Saleh loves sneaking into offense meetings to soak stuff up.  I'm looking forward to seeing what his team-building strategy will be with Joe Douglas.  Shanahan & Lynch clearly invest their premium resources on defense, because Shanahan is confident in his ability to manufacture offense.  But Saleh?  If you asked him to weight the importance of the different positions, I wonder how he'd do it?