By DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Professional Soccer Author
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets have been looking for a pacesetter, somebody who may carry a annoyed, playoff-starved franchise again to respectability.
They suppose they discovered their man in Robert Saleh.
The Jets reached an settlement in precept with the favored and energetic San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Thursday evening to rent him as their head coach. Saleh replaces Adam Gase, who was fired by on Jan. 3 after going 9-23 in two seasons.
The 41-year-old Saleh, believed to be the primary Muslim head coach in NFL historical past, emerged as a favourite for the Jets job when he was introduced in for a second — and this time, in-person — interview Tuesday evening and people discussions prolonged into Wednesday. He was the primary of the 9 identified candidates New York interviewed remotely to fulfill with chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson, staff president Hymie Elhai and basic supervisor Joe Douglas at its facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Saleh left the Jets and met with Philadelphia, which fired Doug Pederson on Monday. And New York additionally had an in-person assembly with Tennessee offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
After Smith left with no deal, New York had inner discussions and opted to rent Saleh.
“YESSS SIRRRRRRRRRR,” an excited defensive deal with Quinnen Williams wrote on Twitter.
Saleh, acknowledged as an lively chief who’s properly preferred by his gamers, had been the 49ers’ defensive coordinator beneath Kyle Shanahan since 2017, overseeing San Francisco’s protection that ranked No. 2 general on the best way to the Tremendous Bowl final season.
The 49ers ranked fifth in general protection this season regardless of season-ending accidents to cross rushers Nick Bosa — the 2019 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months — and Dee Ford, in addition to defensive linemen Solomon Thomas and Ezekiel Ansah. Whereas San Francisco missed the playoffs, Saleh’s work with a banged-up and short-handed protection made him a well-liked candidate among the many groups searching for a coach.
“The @nyjets obtained an incredible one!” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted. “Congrats to them!”
Saleh, the son of Lebanese dad and mom, is the the second minority coach to be employed by the Jets within the final six years and first since Todd Bowles, who’s Black, in 2015. He’s the fourth lively minority coach within the NFL, becoming a member of Miami’s Brian Flores, Washington’s Ron Rivera and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.
Saleh, who first interviewed remotely with the Jets final Friday, additionally spoke with Detroit, Atlanta, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Chargers.
New York pounced, although, after Douglas promised the staff would “solid a really large web” in its search. Each Johnson and Douglas spoke about discovering a pacesetter, a CEO-type of coach who would oversee your entire operation of the staff and assist re-establish a tradition and id for the franchise.
The twentieth coach in franchise historical past, Saleh beat out Smith, Kansas Metropolis offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, New Orleans defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn, former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.
Saleh is the seventh straight coach employed by the Jets to not have earlier head teaching expertise, with the final not becoming that class being Invoice Parcells in 1997. He’s additionally the fifth former defensive coordinator to get the job amongst New York’s final six hires, with Gase the one exception.
With the Jets, Saleh may have loads of work to do. New York hasn’t made the postseason for the reason that 2010 season, the NFL’s longest lively playoff drought with each Cleveland and Tampa Bay getting on this season.
Saleh and Douglas can even have plenty of inquiries to reply in regards to the roster, none greater than what the Jets ought to do at quarterback.
Sam Darnold, the No. 3 general choose in 2018, hasn’t lived as much as his lofty draft standing and regressed this season beneath Gase. New York presently holds the No. 2 choose within the draft and will decide to take a quarterback — maybe Ohio State’s Justin Fields or BYU’s Zach Wilson — and begin recent on the place. The Jets, who even have the No. 23 choice, may commerce down to gather extra picks. Rather a lot will depend upon who Saleh brings in as his offensive coordinator, and the way they view Darnold in opposition to the quarterbacks popping out within the draft.
Saleh may usher in 49ers passing recreation coordinator Mike LaFleur, brother of Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Saleh’s greatest man at his wedding ceremony, to run his offense.
The Jets even have 20 gamers scheduled to be unrestricted free brokers, together with a number of standouts on protection, with security Marcus Maye, cornerback Brian Poole and linebackers Neville Hewitt and Tarell Basham amongst them.
Saleh, from Dearborn, Michigan, started his teaching profession in 2002 as a defensive assistant at Michigan State for 2 seasons, adopted by stints at Central Michigan and Georgia. He joined the Houston Texans in 2005 as a defensive intern beneath Dom Capers and labored three seasons as a defensive high quality management coach beneath Gary Kubiak earlier than being promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2009.
Saleh joined Pete Carroll’s workers in Seattle as a defensive high quality management coach in 2011 earlier than being employed by Gus Bradley in 2014 as Jacksonville’s linebackers coach. He spent three seasons with the Jaguars earlier than becoming a member of the 49ers.
“He makes positive there’s no grey space by way of teaching and educating,” San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner stated final month. “There’s quite a lot of coaches on the market who simply coach. However he’s an incredible trainer.”
AP Professional Soccer Author Josh Dubow contributed to this report.
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