Coach Kyle Shanahan plans to give his players and 49ers staff some time off at the end of the week.

But defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will still be a busy man even if he does not have any duties at the team's Santa Clara facility.

The Cleveland Browns requested permission Monday to interview Saleh for their head-coaching opening, Shanahan confirmed, and representatives from the organization are expected to meet with Saleh in the Bay Area toward the end of the week. The Browns fired head coach Freddie Kitchens after one season.

The Browns are the only team as of Monday afternoon to request permission to speak with Saleh for a head-coaching position.

“It’s actually perfect situation for Saleh, just as it was for me because I was fortunate to have the bye week, also,” Shanahan said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

Shanahan was a candidate for coaching openings in 2017 with Denver, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams in early 2017 when the Atlanta Falcons were in the playoffs. He ended up reaching an agreement on a six-year contract with the 49ers. He was officially hired the day after the Falcons' Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

“When you have the bye week, we’re going to get a couple of days off at the end of this week,” Shanahan said. “And that’s the only thing that stinks for Saleh because he won’t get those days off because he’ll be preparing for an interview one day and probably doing the interview the next day.”


After completing the initial interview process, Saleh will be able to get back to work and devote all his time toward constructing a game plan to defend the 49ers’ NFC divisional round opponent on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Levi’s Stadium.

“Usually those two days happen, then it’s over,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan spent the 2014 season as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns under coach Mike Pettine. Shanahan was granted his release from his contract after one season. Shanahan’s major issue was with former Browns general manager Ray Farmer, who was suspended for four games for sending impermissible in-game text messages to assistant coaches questioning play-calling and use of personnel.

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Shanahan said he is excited for Saleh to get this opportunity and he would not discourage him from any opportunity with the Browns.

“I don’t think that has anything to do with the people who are there now.” Shanahan said. “I’m pumped for Saleh to get this opportunity. And (team owners) Mr. (Jimmy) and Mrs. (Dee) Haslam are great people and are great people to work for, so we’ll see how the interview goes for them.”