Robert Saleh Atop Lions’ HC List?

The Lions have begun their GM search, interviewing Louis Riddick, Thomas Dimitroff, Scott Pioli and multiple internal candidates. One name has also surfaced in connection with the Detroit HC job.

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh resides atop the Lions’ list of HC candidates, according to’s Tony Pauline. They will likely have competition for the fourth-year 49ers defensive play-caller.

Saleh grew up in Michigan and went to college in the state, and these connections prompted dozens of Michigan lawmakers to pen a letter to Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp urging her to hire the 49ers assistant to replace Patricia. The team appears to have already been monitoring Saleh, who emerged on the HC radar after the 2019 49ers’ rise to Super Bowl LIV.

While a healthier 49ers defense finished second in DVOA last season, Saleh has managed to keep this year’s injury-ravaged unit in the top five in total defense. The 49ers rank fifth in yards allowed going into their Week 15 game, despite missing Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman and several others for significant parts of the season.

Saleh, 41, has been connected to bringing 49ers VP of player personnel Adam Peters with him — should he land a coaching job in 2021. The Lions are open to using a 49ers-style setup where they hire the head coach before signing off on a GM as well, and Pauline adds the team is prepared to pair Saleh with a GM with whom he is comfortable.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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43 comments on “Robert Saleh Atop Lions’ HC List?

  1. Simmons>Russ

    Saleh would be a really solid HC for them, I like that he’s been rumoured as a HC for a few off seasons now, he’s a local of sorts and he has some pedigree.

    An absolute reach for them would be current Michigan HC, Jim Harbough. He’s obviously an excellent coach but I can’t see him leaving Michigan for the Lions

  2. DodgersNinersNation

    I cant wait for the 2 3rd round picks when Saleh gets hired for a Head coaching gig. We sure can use it. Hopefully package them to move up for a mobile qb.

  3. JJB0811

    Detroit might really like him, but they should interview 10+ people. Who knows what other great/successful coaches are out there. Teams that pigeon hole them into 1 or 2 candidates, usually turn them over in 3 years or less.

    • Simmons>Russ

      Disagree if you have a good coach in front of you don’t say just wait in I’ll look at everyone else.

      If you know who’s on the market in terms of coaches and you know how good Saleh is then go for it

      • JJB0811

        Dallas has buyer’s remote only interviewing 2 people last year. Of course, Jerry won’t admit to that, but they weren’t expecting to draft in the top 10. DC is 1 game under 500 & only interviewed Ron R.

        • ruckus727

          Rivera is one of the better coaches of the last decade plus in the league. To be one game under .500 with that roster is impressive in itself. He was a good hire for Washington.

          • Simmons>Russ

            That’s what I was thinking, didn’t understand why he mentioned Rivera. He’s done a fantastic job with that team so far. That defence looks pretty nice, they just have many wholes on offence to fill.

          • JJB0811

            Ron’s Panthers went sub 500 for 3 years after their SB run. Why is that stat ignored? And he certainly missed on Justin Herbert coming out as well.

              • Ak185

                Picking Chase Young when your defensive line is literally the only strength on a roster with a thousand holes is a missed opportunity. No matter how good Young is, that pick was worth four or five great future or current picks in that draft. Herbert could have been one, but no one thought that he’d be as good as he is and there’s no telling if he’d be as good in Washington. Still, more picks for a talent needy team was a better choice I think.

                That said, Rivera is definitely a good coach who has done exactly what he was brought in to do. First, he’s there to build a culture. After that, they’ll need talent, but that doesn’t happen without a change in atmosphere. Rivera has already done the former; we’ll see if he can do the latter.

  4. kzoobrewcrew

    Always sucks to see young guys full of promise come dance with the beast that is the career wrecking Detroit Lions

  5. arthur blank_for owner

    Michigan Lawmakers can take the time to pen a letter endorsing a coaching hire to the Lions, but can’t take the time to fix their corrupt state when the country needs it most?!….Yup, sounds about right lol! smh

    • crosseyedlemon

      Fixing corruption is on the “To Do List” right after finding Jimmy Hoffa.

      • arthur blank_for owner

        Apparently hiring a new Lions coach is #1 on the “To-Do List” with fixing Voter Fraud buried way down towards the bottom that same list…good times up there in Detroit and Michigan bwhahaha

        • arthur blank_for owner

          lol exactly…not hard to bury your head in the sand depending on where you get your info these days which is sad unfortunately

          • thebluemeanie

            Ironic coming from a guy who is just repeating what he heard on OAN. You whining and crying about some corruption over here while simultaneously ignoring other corruption over there is the epitome of your side. You only care about corruption if it affects you negatively.

            Watching you people grovel, because for the first time in four years you didn’t get your way, has been very satisfying. It’s like watching a petulant child throw a temper tantrum because you took their toy away. Either provide evidence of corruption, which has yet to be proven in 50 lawsuits and counting (including the Supreme Court), or STFU. It’s really that simple.

            • arthur blank_for owner

              I don’t watch OAN, but whats funny is your saying 50 court cases and counting is exactly CNN, MSNBC, etc. constantly spews everyday aka burying your head in the sand. There’s plenty of evidence if you would actually look…as for the rest or your statement, its an unfortunate example of the hatred that is being spread these days

              • kzoobrewcrew

                So much evidence that every case has been kicked out of court. Sounds more like Newsmaxx than OAN.

              • thebluemeanie

                I don’t watch CNN, but what’s funny is you’re saying “there’s evidence” but you have yet to provide any is exactly OAN, Fox News, etc. If you, or anyone on the right for that matter, would actually provide evidence of substance, I’d be more than happy to entertain it. I’m sure most Americans woulda However, you have brought nothing to the table but tears.

                It’s also cute to watch you play the victim of “hatred” while you were the one who initially spewed your hatred for Michigan lawmakers, corruption and election fraud. But do go on. In the meantime. I’ll be waiting patiently for your “evidence”.

    • markdavisbarber

      these connections prompted dozens of Michigan lawmakers

      That statement…. How do you spell corruption?

    • BuckarooBanzai

      corruption? oh! you mean voter fraud!


      btw: how’s the water?

    • bucincharlotte

      You people in Michigan vied for her. I am in the process of moving my business from Michigan to Georgia. Enough of the blue state nonsense!

      • arthur blank_for owner

        lol… I don’t know if its getting much better down here in GA. A lot of people moving here to escape the ‘Blue States’ especially CA but bringing their Blue States values. So you don’t like the state you left but yet come down here and vote same way?!..makes no sense lol

      • @bucincharlotte: You’re moving to a state that is trending blue? If it’s ‘enough of the blue state nonsense’, why not pick a fully red state? I mean, they’re so successful! Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky… the list goes on. Top notch in education, health, job creation, wealth. Such amazing places and not at all backwards welfare states that live off of federal money generated by states like New York.

  6. Yep it is

    Wow I thought Matt Patricia was the next great coach. I don’t think his defense at least never choked up 20 points in 8 minutes in a Super Bowl. Seems like just another assistant who gets a lot of recognition for being in the right place at the right time. Hope he does go to the Lions and their motto can be “ And the losing continues”.

    • wagner13

      You could adopt that mindset. However, that would be ignoring the stark contrast between Saleh and Patricia. Here are some major differences:

      1. Patricia never coached a top five defense in New England, allowing the fourth most yards in his final season. Saleh has motivated a top five unit the past two seasons (in spite of recent injuries)

      2. Patricia was provided the aid of Belichick, who has always been a defensive wizard in regard to getting the most out of personnel. Saleh has Shanahan, who is strictly an offensive specialist

      3. Patricia alienated Detroit’s lockerroom and coached as though it was 1958. Saleh is a players’ coach and well-respected

      4. Saleh’s defense blew the Superbowl? First of all, he was going against Mahomes: one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Secondly, this is ignoring the fact that Jimmy G and the SF offense did absolutely nothing in the fourth quarter. Besides, Patricia’s defense was the primary reason NE lost Superbowl 52. The team allowed over 500 yards not to an elite quarterback, but Nick Foles!

      Could Saleh flame out? Sure, but I really do not see the connection to Patricia other than the fact that both were defensive coordinators

      • BuckarooBanzai

        the whole “one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time” after 3 years will always make me laugh

        • wagner13

          The point being that Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, Reid, and Bieniemy can make anyone look foolish on a weekly basis

  7. cas5875

    Honestly, in the big picture of things, Saleh to Detroit seems like the best route. Whether its Adam Peters from SF or Scott Fitterer from Seattle as GM.

    In Detroit, Saleh would already have an OC and offense in place with Darrell Bevel, whom he is familiar with, as Bevel was OC in Seattle during his time in Seattle. An offense that already has a decent QB, good WR, TE, LT, and potentially a RB in Swift.

    So he could literally just focus on fixing the defense and fine tuning the offense more. And he is hitting HC level at the perfect time considering two of his Defensive mentors in Seattle, Dan Quinn and Kris Richard are both currently available to join a new staff.

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