Robert Saleh Rumors: 49ers DC Set for 2nd Interview with Chargers amid Jets Buzz

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2021

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)
Jennifer Stewart/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers are reportedly planning a second interview with Robert Saleh to potentially fill their head coach vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. 

The San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator also had a second interview with the New York Jets and will have a first interview with the Philadelphia Eagles.

It adds to the demand for Saleh, who also had interviews with the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars this month, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.

Saleh has spent the last 16 years coaching in the NFL with four different organizations, including the last four with the 49ers as the team's defensive coordinator.

He took over a unit that ranked dead last in the league in both yards and points allowed in 2016, making steady improvements over the next couple of seasons. The 49ers eventually had one of the top defenses in the NFL in 2019, ranking second in yards allowed and played a key role in the team's run to the Super Bowl after a 13-3 regular season. 

The task got tougher in 2020 after losing DeForest Buckner in the offseason while major players like Nick Bosa and Richard Sherman missed most of the year because of injury.

San Francisco still remained competitive and finished fifth in yards allowed, ranking in the top 10 against both the run and the pass.

The 41-year-old now appears destined for a promotion with a lot of options across the NFL.

Los Angeles could be an intriguing landing spot after finishing 7-9 in 2020 with an exciting young quarterback in Justin Herbert. The defense also has a lot of talent when healthy, including playmakers like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Derwin James and Kenneth Murray.

The Chargers fired Anthony Lynn after consecutive losing seasons, but Saleh could have a lot to work with if he is offered the position.