49ers DC Robert Saleh Breaks Silence on Coaching Rumors

49ers defense

Getty 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is likely to get consideration for the Lions opening.

After the Detroit Lions fired Matt Patricia, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh emerged as one of the early favorites to be the team’s next head coach. Heading into Week 13, Saleh made his first public comments on the rumors and shot down the notion that it could be a distraction for the 49ers.

“This league is so week to week, and the most important week right now is Monday Night Football against Buffalo,” Saleh remarked in his press conference, per 49ersWebZone.com. “We’ve got a team that’s in the middle of the playoff hunt, so it’s really a non-issue for me. I don’t talk about it. I don’t really even see it. I don’t have social media. I don’t look into the news. So, it’s probably more for family and friends to enjoy and get a kick out of than it is for me. We’re completely locked into Buffalo.”

A Group of Michigan State Legislators Endorsed Saleh as the Next Lions Head Coach

Saleh has been able to do more with less than arguably any other defensive coordinator this season. The 49ers roster has been ravaged by injuries but the unit has still managed to remain competitive. A group of Michigan state legislators released a statement endorsing Saleh as the next Lions head coach. Saleh did not have much to say in response to the gesture.

“To be completely honest, I didn’t see anything or hear anything until I was coming off the practice field,” Saleh added. “I don’t know what to make of it or anything like that, so it’s just, whatever, I guess.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes Saleh will be a leading candidate for the Lions’ opening.

“A Michigan native who began his coaching career at Michigan St. I imagine he’ll be considered by the Lions,” Rapoport tweeted.

Shanahan Is ‘Always Concerned’ About Losing Saleh to Another Team

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been supportive of Saleh eventually landing a head coaching gig. Shanahan admitted he is “always concerned” about losing Saleh to another team given his credentials but added the defensive coordinator “needs to be in no rush” to take a head coaching job.

“I’m always concerned,” Shanahan said after the team’s win over the Rams, per Yahoo Sports. “You never want to lose Saleh. I never want to lose any of our coaches, to tell you the truth. I thought he deserved one last year, so, whether this game happened or not, it’s a matter of time before he becomes one. I keep telling him, ‘Don’t get mad at me,’ because I know he’s going to be one eventually. I hope he stays here as long as possible. He needs to be in no rush. So hopefully people don’t figure it out, and he stays here for a little bit.”

The rumors are likely to intensify in the coming weeks, and the big question is if it will have any impact on the rest of the Niners games. San Francisco’s season has been full of uncertainty as the team is now playing its home games in Arizona. It is hard to imagine the coaching rumors involving Saleh will have much of an impact on the 49ers players given all of the uncertainty that is already surrounding the team.

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