SANTA CLARA -- Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh came under fire the past two seasons for the play of the 49ers’ defense.
After three games this season, the 49ers’ defense has been the main reason the club is 3-0 heading into their Week 5 game against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night at Levi's Stadium. And Saleh is being talked about as a future NFL head coach.
“If he ever gets a shot to interview for a head-coaching job, he’ll blow them away,” 49ers veteran cornerback Richard Sherman said this week.
The 49ers are coming off a season in which they created just seven takeaways, including two interceptions. Both marks are the worst in NFL history for a single season.
Through three games this year, the 49ers have collected five interceptions, recovered two of the six fumbles they’ve forced and registered nine sacks. Sherman said Saleh is a “football genius" who has a firm understanding of the nuances of coverages and is meticulous in his attention to detail.
Head coaches are often seen as CEOs of a corporation, and Sherman said that is an area at which Saleh would excel, too.
“Everybody has their different strengths and weaknesses,” Sherman said. “He’s much better at relating to people and relating to his team and having a feel for a team, because he has been around so many great coaches in Kyle (Shanahan) and Pete Carrroll and Ken Norton and Gus Bradley, Kris Richard – he has been around guys who have been great at dealing with players and people, and I think he has taken snippets from each of them.”