Kyle Shanahan doesn't want to lose Robert Saleh, but likes his coaching staff
Shanahan Hints Saleh Replacement Could Be Coming From Inside, originally appearing on NBC Sports Bayarea
Robert Saleh, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, is expected to be in high demand for one of several head-coach openings in the upcoming off-season, and San Francisco's impressive 20:12 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday certainly will do not diminish.
Faced with one of the best offenses in the league, spearheaded by a quarterback who had previously caused them tremendous problems, the 49ers limited Arizona to an average of four feet per game and forced two turnovers. They held Kyler Murray just 230 yards with no touchdowns or an interception and fired him three times.
Pro Bowl linebacker Fred Warner, arguably the best player in Saleh's defense, had a great game against the Cardinals and led all players with a total of 14 tackles and three passing deviations. He's also had a forced fumble and a fiddly recovery. Then he had great praise for the man in charge, in which he described Saleh as "the best DC in the league" (h / t 49ers Webzone).
"I have so much respect for this guy," Warner said of Saleh. "He's just such a smart mind and he also knows exactly what he wants, exactly what he wants from us. He makes it crystal clear for everyone."
"I love this guy," added Warner. "I know that one day he will be a great head coach. We still have a game to put some good stuff on tape."
The 49ers season ends next week with a matchup against rival Seattle Seahawks, and there's a good chance Saleh's final game will be as San Francisco's defensive coordinator. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is very confident that Saleh is ready to become head coach.
"The injuries that we had over the year and that we were able to adapt to, exactly where we came here these three years, were ready for this year," Shanahan said after the win. "He's been through almost every situation in our four years and for our defense to be at its level it says a lot about him, a lot about his staff and a lot about all of these players."
RELATED: Scores For The 49ers Offensive, Defense While Defeating Cardinals
If Saleh gets a head coach job this off-season, as many expect, the 49ers will have to find someone to replace him. It is certainly possible for San Francisco to turn to an outside candidate, but Shanahan hinted that the solution could come from within.
"As I keep saying, I hope I don't lose Saleh, but we have some good coaches on this team and we will decide that here," added Shanahan. "I think we have about eight days left so we'll see how it ends."
Next Sunday the book about the 49ers season will be closed, and it could also be the end of Saleh's story with San Francisco.
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