Robert Saleh is a wanted man and has completed his first interview for a head-coaching vacancy.
The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday night that they had conducted an interview with the 49ers defensive coordinator.
Coach Kyle Shanahan revealed Sunday after the 49ers' season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks that he was pretty sure Saleh had an interview with the Falcons lined up for Monday. He was right.
The Falcons are one of six teams in need of a head coach, along with the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers.
General manager John Lynch told reporters Monday that the Falcons, Lions and Jaguars had formally requested permission to speak to Saleh. Atlanta wasted no time connecting with the 41-year-old.
"I think Saleh will kill these interviews," Shanahan told reporters. "I think he’ll do a great job. But it’s just one person usually making these decisions in each place, so nothing’s ever guaranteed. So I wish him the best of luck in all this, and we’ll see how it goes."
Saleh, a Dearborn, Mich. native, has fans in Motown. A group of Michigan lawmakers sent a letter to Lions ownership in December urging them to hire the Northern Michigan alum.
It's a matter of time before Saleh is hired away from the 49ers, and the team is bracing for his departure.