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5 Things to Know about 49ers Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh

The San Francisco 49ers made another crucial hire on Monday, bringing on Robert Saleh to be the team's new defensive coordinator. Saleh joins Kyle Shanahan's coaching staff after spending the last three seasons as the linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 49ers are the fourth NFL club that Saleh has coached for since coming to the league in 2005. Here are five things to know about San Francisco's defensive coordinator.

1. He's got ties to Shanahan

Saleh and Shanahan worked together with the Houston Texans from 2006-09. During that four-year stretch, Saleh served as a defensive quality control coach and as an assistant linebackers coach. He worked with a pair of heralded linebackers during his tenure in Houston. DeMeco Ryans (2006) and Brian Cushing (2009) were each named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

2. He's a Super Bowl Champ

Following his time with the Texans, Saleh spent three years as a defensive quality control coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-13. Saleh won a ring in 2013 as a part of Seattle's championship run through Super Bowl XLVIII. That season, the Seahawks defense led the NFL in both points and yards allowed.


  1. He's a first time defensive coordinator**

Saleh has 11 seasons of NFL coaching experience. In addition, he got his career started with five seasons in the college ranks. Saleh was an assistant coach with Michigan State (2002-03), Central Michigan (2004) and Georgia (2005). An internship with the Texans in 2005 helped him make the full-time leap to the NFL in 2006.

4. He was ticketed to be in L.A.

Former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley has been hired as the new defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers. Bradley planned on bringing Saleh to Southern California with him in the same role of linebackers coach. Shanahan was able to land Saleh in the Bay Area with the promotion to defensive coordinator.

5. He's a former all-conference tight end

Saleh is a Dearborn, Mich., native, which is only 10 miles outside of Detroit. He moved across the state to Marquette, Mich., and played college football at Northern Michigan University. Saleh became an all-conference tight end during his four seasons with the Wildcats.

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