The Jets have hired Robert Saleh as their new head coach, per a club announcement. It’s a five-year deal for Gang Green and the 49ers defensive coordinator , as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Saleh is now the Jets’ 20th head coach in franchise history. The 41-year-old was an early favorite for the job, based on the strength of his SF defense. In 2020, the Niners finished fifth in total yards, seventh in rushing yards, and fourth in passing yards allowed. In 2019, Saleh’s D surrendered just 169.2 passing yards per contest — the lowest average since Rex Ryan‘s 2009 Jets D.
The Jets have lots of holes to fill, but also lots of room to remake the team with their new coaching staff. They’ll have ample cap space to work with in March, plus two first-round picks (Nos. 2 and 23) in April.
There were seven vacancies in this cycle, and six of those teams requested interviews with Saleh. The Jets didn’t want to let him get away and, ultimately, they got their man.The 41-year-old edged out a number of qualified candidates, including Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Smith — similarly popular in this cycle – had just completed a second interview. Here’s the full rundown, via PFR’s tracker:
- Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator: Interviewed on 1/6
- Joe Brady, Panthers offensive coordinator: Interviewed on 1/9
- Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach: Interview declined
- Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator: Interviewed on 1/10
- Matt Eberflus, Colts defensive coordinator: Interviewed on 1/10
- Aaron Glenn, Saints defensive backs coach: Interviewed on 1/10
- Patrick Graham, Giants defensive coordinator: Interview requested; to stay with Giants
- Marvin Lewis, Arizona State co-defensive coordinator/former Bengals head coach: Interviewed on 1/7
- Robert Saleh, 49ers defensive coordinator: Hired
- Arthur Smith, Titans offensive coordinator: Interviewed on 1/11
- Brandon Staley, Rams defensive coordinator: Interviewed on 1/10
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.