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Shanahan 'sets bar low' for how many 49ers coaches Saleh can hire

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Robert Saleh, 49ers

Coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh have spoken about which 49ers assistant coaches Saleh can take with him in the likely event he becomes an NFL head coach next month.

“Saleh and I talk about everything,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “We’ve known each other for a long time. We obviously work together and he’s a good friend of mine. That’s stuff we’re constantly talking about.

“Once you talk about it, there’s not much to keep talking about. You never know until you see what opportunity he gets and see what his choices are.”

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Shanahan in the past has declined assistants, such as Mike LaFleur and Mike McDaniel, opportunities to interview for offensive coordinator jobs with other organizations. LaFleur was blocked from joining his brother’s staff in 2019 with the Green Bay Packers.

Shanahan said he is driving a hard bargain with Saleh, who is widely considered a strong candidate for openings with the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions.

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“I keep telling him he’s not allowed to take anyone,” Shanahan deadpanned. “Sometimes I can ease up a little bit on that, but I usually set the bar very low and we’ll see what happens after.”

This offseason, it will be difficult for Shanahan to keep his staff together.

The NFL in the offseason passed a resolution to prevent teams from blocking a coach who’s under contract from interviewing for a play-calling coordinator position with other organizations.