New York Jets

Jets Coaching Candidate Profiles Pt. 3: 49ers DC Robert Saleh and HC Marvin Lewis.

Welcome to part three. As you know the NY Jets has parted ways with Adam Gase, the head coaching job is now officially vacant. The Jets have a laundry list of candidates that have been linked to the vacant job. General Manager, Joe Douglas will lead the search for a new coach. We all should fully trust Joe Douglas with anything he does. He has such a great background, comes from many successful organizations, he has been apart of the process of drafting HOFers and future HOFs and has worked under Ozzie Newsome, Ryan Pace, and Howie Roseman. They have requested multiple coordinators for interviews, and in this series I will do profiles and my personal thoughts on these coordinators and coaches linked to the NYJ open spot. My rating will be based off of these four categories: Experience, Reputation/Actual Talent, CEO, and Celebrity status. Let’s start with 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh.

49ers DC Robert Saleh:

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Robert Saleh is a 41 year old man from Dearborn, Michigan. He attended Fordson High School, then went to Northern Michigan University. That is when his football career started as a TE. After college, he started his coaching career with Michigan State University. He served as their defensive assistant, 2002-03. When his time in MSU ended, he coached at Central Michigan (2004) and Georgia (2005). Then, he stumbled into the NFL as a defensive intern for the Texans in 2005. He got an upgrade in 2006-08 as a defensive quality control coach, in 2009-10 he became their assistant LB coach. After his time in Houston, he arrived to Seattle from 2011-13 as their defensive quality control coach and joined Jacksonville from 2014-16 as their LB coach. Their defense ranked 26th (2014), 31st (2015), and 25th (2016). Finally, he was given his first defensive coordinator job with the San Francisco 49ers. In 2017 they finished 25th in ranking, in 2018 they finished 28th in ranking. Then in 2019, he got his big break and led the 49ers to have the 8th ranked defense in the league. That defense carried the Niners to the SB to face the eventual SB Champions, KC Chiefs. This year, the 49ers had insane injuries happen, Nick Bosa was out for the year in Week 3. They had ugly and unexpected injuries occur early and late in the season. However, they finished 17th in league defense (nice), 5th in yards allowed (elite), 4th in passing yards allowed (elite), 7th in rushing yards allowed (great), and 17th in points allowed (nice). He runs a 4-3 defense.

Personal thoughts: Hiring Robert Saleh would be an interesting move. Personally, I’m totally for it due to the fact he’s a clear CEO in the locker room. He’s not a joke and looks like a serious guy that wants to win. However, if we were to hire him he’d have to lure Mike LaFleur or Michael Lee McDaniel out of SF as his OC. I don’t think Shanahan will allow it but he’d need a good OC. Experience-wise I’d say Saleh knows his way around the league, he’s been with 4 different NFL teams and 3 different college teams. Some defensive minded coaches know nothing about offense but I don’t think that’s the case with Saleh. He played TE in HS so that’s got to account for something. I would be quite excited with this hire but rumor has it that Detroit is his likely destination. Today the Jets have planned an interview with him, so we’ll see if Joe Douglas and Saleh are like-minded. They haven’t publicly worked with each other in the NFL, but everyone knows Saleh’s name. I’d be happy with this hire if he gets a good OC, onto the next!

Experience: 8/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩
Reputation/Actual Talent: 8/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩
CEO: 8/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩
Celebrity: 9/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩
Overall: 33/40 (A) ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

Former HC Marvin Lewis:

Gary Landers/AP

Marvin Lewis is a 62 year old man from McDonald, Pennsylvania. He began his love for football at the age of nine and played for his HS, Fort Cherry High School. He attended Idaho State University and was a solid player for the team as he was inducted into their HOF. He started his coaching career after college at his alma mater, Idaho State University. He was their LB coach from 1981-84, then joined Long Beach State (1985-86), New Mexico (1987-89), Pittsburgh (1990-91), and then he got his break into the NFL. His first NFL job was for the Pittsburgh Steelers as their LB coach from 1992-95. Then he joined the Baltimore Ravens as their defensive coordinator from 1996-01. In his tenure as DC they finished 28th in league defense (1996), 18th (1997), 16th (1998), 6th (1999), 1st (2000), and 4th (2001). He then left the Ravens after his impressive tenure and joined Washington as their Assistant HC and DC for 2002. He coached them to have the 21st ranked defense. That impressed Cincinnati enough to hire him, and they kept him for 2003-18. He had led them to 7 playoff berths and won the division 4 times. Those 7 playoff berths led to 7 Wild Card losses though. In 2009 he won the Coach of the year award. Once he was relieved from his duties in 2018, he joined Arizona State as a special advisor and co-defensive coordinator. He runs a 4-3 defensive scheme.

Personal thoughts: I love coaches with experience, but I just can’t convince myself to be happy with a hire like this. Marvin Lewis is a fantastic defensive coordinator, but he’s not a Head Coach. He tried that in Cincinnati and he did good in the regular season, but not in January and he couldn’t even sniff February (Super Bowl). If we were to hire Lewis as a head coach, I would cringe. If it was for a DC job, I’d be all over it with joy. I gave him a 5 for talent because if you don’t show up in the playoffs then what type of coach are you? He’s kind of a CEO and he’s definitely somewhat of a celebrity due to the fact he was a HC for more than a decade. It would be a huge disappointment if he was hired to be the HC, the hire would get comparisons to the Adam Gase hire. The Jets completed an interview with him about the HC vacancy yesterday, that is something to be worried about. Let’s not over think this boys.

Experience: 8/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩
Reputation/Actual Talent: 5/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✩✩✩✩✩
CEO: 6/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✩✩✩✩✩
Celebrity: 6/10 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩✩✩
Overall: 24/40 (B-) ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

Thanks for reading everybody. This has been Jose Calderon III with FiveBoroughDispatch, have a great day; everybody!

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