49ers

How Jets ensured Saleh would be head coach amid high interest

49ers

Robert Saleh has agreed in principle to become the next head coach of the New York Jets, and as NFL Media's Peter Schrager reported on "Good Morning Football," the former 49ers defensive coordinator immediately wanted to join the franchise after interviewing with the team.

“I can tell you after texting with him, he was like ‘I want the Jets job.’ He wanted the Jets job, this is the job I want,” Schrager said of his conversations with Saleh.

But New York had to complete the process and proceeded with interviewing their other finalist for the head coaching vacancy, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. But after the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles both made their interest in Saleh known, the Jets had to act fast.

“Saleh was ecstatic, he wanted to be the Jets coach. He connected so well with not only Joe Douglas, but Christopher Johnson the owner and then Hymie Elhai, who is the president," Schrager continued. "And together, they all felt like this was a connection that could be leadership for the Jets for the future.”

RELATED: 49ers' development of Saleh nets two third-round draft picks

The 41-year-old will be taking over a team that finished with the second-worst record in the NFL in 2020, but by virtue of that lack of success, also owns the No. 2 pick in April’s NFL draft.

Sources tell NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur will be going with Saleh to run the Jets’ offense, and that run game coordinator Mike McDaniel and linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans will be promoted to become the 49ers’ new coordinators on offense and defense respectively.

 

The 49ers long have known that Saleh was coveted around the league, and Thursday’s announcement likely came as no surprise to head coach Kyle Shanahan or general manager John Lynch.

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