San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has made the second round of New York Jets interviews, per a report.
The first name to make the second round of interviews has surfaced. Per a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, the New York Jets have targeted Robert Saleh as that first individual.
As the #Jets narrow their list of head coaching candidates, they are flying in #49ers DC Robert Saleh for a second interview today, per me and @MikeGarafolo. The first known finalist for the NYJ job, and there will be others likely in person, as well.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 12, 2021
Saleh, 41, has held down the Niners defensive coordinator job since 2017. After a struggle in his first season, the unit finished 13th in defense in 2018. It then jumped to second in 2019 and then fifth this past season.
Saleh’s work this past season was especially impressive considering the injuries to the Niners defense. He was without edge-rushing stud Nick Bosa for most of the year and also called defenses without Solomon Thomas and Dee Ford for a significant portion of the season as well.
Prior to his Bay Area work, Saleh was the Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach from 2014 to 2016. Previous stops included three years with the Seattle Seahawks (Super Bowl champion in 2013) and the Houston Texans from 2005 to 2010. It was Dom Capers who gave Saleh his first job in the NFL (2005).
Rapoport and Garafolo report that the organization is flying Saleh in on Tuesday for a second interview. The Jets’ last three interviews have bumped up the total interview count to nine. Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley was interviewed Sunday, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator and New Orleans Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn were both interviewed Monday.
Jets head-coaching candidate tracker
The wild-card in the process is, of course, Doug Pederson. The former Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles has an existing relationship with general manager Joe Douglas. No official word regarding any Jets interest in Pederson has surfaced.
Expect Saleh to be the first of several names to interview a second time. The “wide net” Douglas and Jets chairman Christopher Johnson spoke about last week has been exactly that over the first week and a half of the process.