49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s approach has defense playing hard


SANTA CLARA — Forty-Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh nearly went into the furniture business.

This was 2001. Saleh was 22 years old, fresh out of Northern Michigan University, where he played tight end and majored in finance. He got a job at Comerica Bank and prepared to take over the family business, a furniture store in Detroit.

“If you just talk furniture,” Saleh said on a sunny afternoon at the 49ers practice facility, “there are so many different things you have to organize at one time. There’s your warehousing, your employees, your bookkeeping. There’s the sales part.

“Football, no different. You’ve got D-line, linebackers, DBs. You’ve got a playbook. You’ve got breakdowns. You’ve got self-scouting. You’ve got to be very detailed.”

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This article has 12 Comments

  1. This guy just may turn into a mighty fine DC. I like this guy and I like his defense. Last in rushing defense last year (I actually thought it was worst then that) now 14th. His defense has been besieged with injuries and has been on the field for most of the season. First time DC…eh a keeper.

  2. Saleh is light year’s better than those Cleveland Browns rejects.
    Sure am glad that Lynch is working hard to improve the defense, unlike Baalke who sat on his hands.
    Still, they need to improve the run defense.

  3. While many have said he should go or he will be the fall guy for the season I have been impressed.
    What he has done given what he had to work with and what he has lost, has been quite an accomplishment. Especially when you take into account the fact that he has been put in the hole repeatedly by the offense.
    The biggest issues with him are related to experience. Much of that is because of Kyle and the fact many feel he needed a voice of wisdom in the room… which is fair.
    Even so I think he has a bright future and he is still learning about being a DC, his players, and managing his staff. He should continue to improve.

  4. I like Saleh and considering the injuries and implementing a new scheme this year, he has done a good job.
    Now this week is a big task in keeping probably the best scrambler and elusive runner ever under containment.
    Russell Wilson is their offense and if they can somehow make him a passer, they have a good chance at ending this hex.
    We need this win!

    1. I hate to say it but I can’t see it happening. Their offense has been moving the ball well recently… and i dont expect much from our offense againsr teams not named the Giants.And they still have more talent….
      All that said I would be thrilled to be wrong and would celebrate like crazy if we pulled this out.

  5. The one thing that scares me about today is the rain. I’ve never has a good feeling when the Niners play at home in the rain, even though all of my experience was at the ‘Stick. There were quite a few but the one that sticks in my craw was the 9-3 loss to the Raiders in ’88. That was probably one of the worst regular season games I ever attended. The Raiders manhandled the Niner offense in that game, sacking Montana numerous times. Without looking it up I would say 5 times, but regardless, it was bad. That was about as out of sync as I ever saw that offense. The defense actually played their usual awesome game holding them to 3 field goals. The rain still does give me a uneasy feeling in my gut.

  6. CBS is doing its darndest to keep the camera off of Mahomes on the sideline, while Alex Smith continues to dink and dunk his Chiefs offense into oblivion.

    The KC Chiefs look like the walking dead at home against a Buffalo team who has been giving up record numbers on defense over the last few week. The Boo-Birds are out in Mizzu!

  7. I’ve got your back Grant along with East. Not enough to gain playing Garoppolo this season, to offset the risk.

    It will be entertaining watching and listening to Kyle squirm and make up excuse for not starting Jimmy from now until next season, as long as he has a healthy CJ Beathard (unless they have a reasonable extension in place).

    I understand why he won’t just come out and say it though. For one, using Jimmy as a backup in itself presents a little risk. If CJB get’s knocked out, Jimmy will have to play, regardless of if he simply hands the ball every 19 out of 20 snaps. For another, the fanbase desperately wants to see him play.

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