San Francisco 49ers fans had to know this was coming.
But the Jets? Coach Robert Saleh, a sincere best of luck to you in New York.
After interviewing with multiple teams, former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is the new head coach of the AFC’s Jets, who haven’t won a Super Bowl since the historic third rendition of that game, when Hall of Famer Joe Namath predicted victory against the heavily favored Colts.
The Saleh news was first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson, per NBC Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.
Saleh has done a tremendous job in San Francisco, who loses out on an effective young coach. But the 49ers have to move on. So who could be on tap to replace Saleh?
According to Eric Branch, DeMeco Ryans is a candidate.
Here’s some of what Branch wrote about Ryans, the 49ers linebackers coach for the last three seasons.
Ryans, 36, who also has no coordinator experience, has earned rave reviews for his work with three homegrown linebackers who have exceeded expectations in the NFL: All-Pro Fred Warner (third round, 2018), Dre Greenlaw (fifth round, 2019) and Azeez Al-Shaair (undrafted, 2019).
Ryans was a two-time Pro Bowl selection during a 10-year career spent with the Texans and Eagles. The 49ers blocked the Titans from interviewing Ryans for a position on their staff after the 2017 season, when Ryans had finished his first year as a coach in the NFL as a low-level assistant.San Francisco Chronicle/Eric Branch
The in-house promotion would lend to continuity, and the 49ers clearly think highly of Ryans, per the above info from Branch.
But Branch also noted that preferred targets Dan Quinn and Gus Bradley came off the market after signing with the Cowboys and Raiders, respectively.
The 49ers paid the price of success with the departure of Saleh, but they still have head coach Kyle Shanahan. He’s got a poor reputation in the Super Bowl, but he’s a fantastic young coach with plenty of time to turn that reputation around. He’s got an important decision ahead of him, however. And again, best of luck to Saleh, he may need it with the perpetually inept Jets.