It hasn’t even been two weeks since the New York Jets parted ways with head coach Adam Gase, but they’ve been working at a frenetic pace to find a replacement to spark yet another rebuild.
On Tuesday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Jets flew in San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for a second interview, making him the first known finalist for the team’s head-coaching job.
Rapoport added that there will “be others likely in person, as well.”
Saleh, 41, is in high demand this offseason after four successful seasons leading the 49ers’ defense, including one of the best units in football last year that helped lift San Francisco to an NFC title and a Super Bowl appearance.
He managed to keep a defense littered with injuries afloat in a down season. The Niners allowed the fifth-fewest yards in the NFL that included the league’s fourth-best rushing defense.
Saleh has already conducted interviews with the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
He has received high marks from 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, who seems more than prepared to let him go this offseason.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with people if they don’t hire him,” Shanahan said (h/t ESPN). “I mean, he’s as good as you can get. … And he’s going to hire the best staff. He knows about players. He knows who knows what they’re talking about. Who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And he also knows how to deal with people. So, I hope everyone’s not very smart and doesn’t hire them so I can keep him. But, I’m expecting not to have him. But, we’ve got a lot of other good guys on our staff and I know there’ll be a number of options.”