The New York Jets’ search for Adam Gase’s successor ended on Thursday.
The organization announced that they have an “agreement in principle” with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their new head coach.
Saleh had his second interview with the Jets’ brass earlier this week during which he managed to convince the organization that he’s the right man for the job. The team went on and made him an offer on Thursday night, and the two sides reportedly agreed to a five-year deal.
Saleh already started assembling his coaching staff and has the 49ers’ passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur as his top pick for an offensive coordinator. LeFleur is the brother of Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
Robert Saleh has been a candidate for head coaching vacancies in the league for some time now, thanks to the great job he did with the 49ers’ defense. He was among the favorites to take over Cleveland Browns last year and had interviews with six teams this year.
However, working in a big market and the possibility of turning around the dysfunctional franchise was appealing to Saleh more than other situations. He now gets a chance to build a team to his liking and get more power in a decision-making process than he would probably have with other teams.
On the Jets’ side, getting Saleh was a no-brainer. He is regarded as an energetic coach who has a great relationship with players, holds people accountable, and appreciates hard work. Following a disastrous two years under Adam Gase, the organization believed this is what they need to stop being a laughingstock of the league.
Saleh started his career in NFL with the Houston Texans, holding several positions on the coaching staff between 2005 and 2010. He then worked as a defensive quality control coach with the Seattle Seahawks and linebacker coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars before taking over as San Francisco’s DC in 2017.
Under Saleh, the 49ers’ defense emerged as one of the best units in football. This included being ranked second in total defense in 2019, the team’s best effort since 1997.