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New York Jets hire Robert Saleh as next head coach

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
Mitch Bannon
Modified 15 Jan 2021

The New York Jets have hired San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be the team's next head coach. Saleh was with the 49ers from 2017-2020 and will bring 49ers passing coordinator Mike Lafleur with him to become New York Jets's offensive coordinator.

The new Jets coach is 41 years old and was born in Dearborn, Michigan. Saleh began his coaching career as a defensive assistant for Michigan State in 2002-2003. Bouncing around college defensive assistant roles, Saleh was hired by the Texans in 2005 and rose to Assistant linebackers coach. In 2017, the 49ers hired Robert Saleh from the Jaguars (their then linebacker coach) to become DC. Saleh becomes the first Muslim-American head coach in NFL history.

When talking about his goals for the 49ers, Rpbert Saleh said he wanted his unit to continue to establish their reputation as violent and ball-hawking.

"I don’t want to sound cliché, but you want to get better," Saleh said according to 247sports. "Continue to represent the style that we’ve come in with the violence and the speed and ball hawking."

Robert Saleh is known for running a positionless defense, using cornerbacks as free safeties, and safeties as linebackers. This versatility and constant changes keeps opposing quarterbacks guessing and is nearly impossible to pre-read. He is also known to one of the highest energy coaches in the league, and will bring his presence to the New York sideline.

Richard Sherman, a veteran and captain of Robert Saleh's former 49ers defense, tweeted that the Jets were getting a "great one," and "Congrats to them!"

What is next for Robert Saleh and MIke LaFleur?

Mike LaFleur is the younger brother Matt LaFleur of Green Bay Packers. He comes from the Kyle Shanahan system that has a reputation for elevating quarterback play and creating versatile and effective offenses. It is unclear who LaFleur, Saleh and company will have at quarterback next season but current QB Sam Darnold, BYU QB Zach Wilson, and Ohio State QB Justin Fields all have a serious chance.


Robert Saleh will replace former Jets head coach Adam Gase at the position. In two years as Jets head coach, Gase failed to lead the team to the playoffs. His career NFL coaching record is now 32-48 and 0-1 in the playoffs.

Published 15 Jan 2021, 10:36 IST
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