49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh continues to be a busy man. He’s already been linked to the jobs in Detroit and Atlanta, and now Los Angeles has come calling. The Chargers have requested an interview with the Kyle Shanahan deputy, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Saleh is from the Michigan area and coached for a while at Michigan State, which has led to some reports that he’s high on the Lions’ wish list. But if Detroit wants him, they’re going to have some competition. On paper, the Chargers might be the most attractive job opening. Not only do they have a rookie sensation at quarterback in Justin Herbert, but there’s a ton of talent on defense for someone like Saleh to work with as well.
Safety Derwin James missed the entire 2020 season, but should be back at an All-Pro level in 2021.Then there’s Casey Hayward and Chris Harris at cornerback, and Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa at edge rusher. With Pro Bowl defensive tackle Linval Joseph clogging up running lanes in the middle. The 49ers were besieged by injuries this past year, but they had one of the best defenses in the league in 2019.
If Saleh were hired, it’d be very interesting to see what OC he paired Herbert with. Herbert apparently “loves” his current OC Shane Steichen, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link), so maybe Chargers GM Tom Telesco will be looking for a candidate willing to keep Steichen on staff.