Saleh reveals why Shanahan yelled at him in first 49ers game


When Kyle Shanahan is on the field, he is as locked in as any of his players -- as was former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. 

The current New York Jets head coach joined the "Flying Coach" podcast this week, and hilariously recalled how he learned that lesson the hard way in his first season with the 49ers.

“It’s my first game as a coordinator for Kyle," Saleh told Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay and NFL Media's Peter Schrager. "We’re at home, playing the Carolina Panthers, first game as a coordinator. We’re losing, it was 2017, the game was over and they were in four-minute mode.

"It’s like third-and-5, and I threw a nickel [package] on the field because they were in 10-personnel. I was like ‘Oh crap,’ because I'm looking for a timeout because I wanted to get the right person out on the field. I can’t find Kyle, so I throw the timeout."

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Shanahan is a pretty level-headed guy despite his focus, but not after his own defensive coordinator called a timeout without his permission.

"And you know Kyle, he gets the red neck, nostrils flaring, and he’s like ‘I've been a coordinator for nine years, and I never called a timeout,’ " Saleh continued. "He starts going apes--t. I get the right personnel group out there, I call the play out, and they run the ball with Cam Newton on power, and he gets the first down.


"I was like ‘Ahh s--t.’ He’s just in my ear the rest of the game, and that was probably my first learning experience.”  

Saleh is as fiery and passionate of a coach as they come, but that day he was the one being coached up after his mistake on the field.

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