The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday evening they have completed the interview of head coaching candidate and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. The current Vegas odds favorite to win the job in Detroit, Saleh reportedly had a virtual interview with the Lions on Thursday, making him the fourth known candidate to have completed an interview with the team. To this date, the Lions have also interviewed former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, current Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell.
Saleh has become a popular candidate in Detroit, because of serious endorsements from his current players and also his local ties. This year in San Francisco, Saleh dealt with a lot of injuries to his squad, including IR stints for Dee Ford (15 games missed), Ezekiel Ansah (12 games missed), Nick Bosa (14 games missed), Solomon Thomas (14 games missed) and Richard Sherman (11 games missed) among many others.
Despite all those injuries, the 49ers finished sixth in defensive DVOA, fourth in yards allowed per drive, eighth in points per drive allowed, and third in three-and-out percentage. That comes a year after producing a defense that ranked in the top 10 in nearly every major statistical category (DVOA, yards allowed, points), which led to the 49ers competing in the Super Bowl.
Last month, we talked to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco about what makes Saleh such a solid candidate for the Lions’ job.
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