NY Jets bringing back Robert Saleh for a second interview

NY Jets, Robert Saleh Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Robert Saleh Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

NY Jets are bringing back Robert Saleh for a second interview on Tuesday.

The NY Jets are narrowing the search for their next head coach as the days go on. And as of Tuesday, they will reportedly be bringing back San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for a second interview.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the news early Tuesday morning that Saleh would be flying into the Jets’ facilities later in the day to interview in person for the job.

Saleh is the first known candidate to be brought back for a second interview, although Rapoport did indicate that there would likely be others as well.

The first wave of interviews included the likes of Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, Marvin Lewis, and Brian Daboll — among others — and was done exclusively over video calls. But in Saleh’s case, the Jets clearly wanted to get a little more personal.

It appears as though the Jets plan to do their second round of interviews in-person with Saleh being the first candidate.

Saleh is one of nine known individuals the Jets have interviewed for their head-coach vacancy. Aside from the others listed above, the Jets have spoken with the likes of Matt Eberflus, Brandon Staley, Aaron Glenn, and Arthur Smith.

Of course, it’s very possible that not all candidates have been reported as, especially with college coaches, some of these interviews could be kept secret.

The NY Jets have been impressed with Robert Saleh’s work in San Francisco

The high-spirited Saleh has been near-universally praised for his work with the 49ers’ defense over the last two years. The 41-year-old has captained one of the NFL’s best defensive units since 2019 and he’s done so under far-from-ideal circumstances.

Paired with a stacked defense, it was no surprise to see San Francisco finish second in yards allowed per game a year ago. But in 2020, despite an unprecedented string of injuries, Saleh’s defense remained stout.

Without the likes of Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander, K’Waun Williams, Jaquiski Tartt, and Solomon Thomas for most of the year (all seven players played fewer than eight games), Saleh’s defense still finished fifth in yards surrendered per game.

He’s been praised for his in-game adjustments just as much as he’s stood out for his boisterous, passionate sideline antics. Saleh has become a fan-favorite and media darling for his animated coaching style.

And if he were to be hired by the Jets, he’d surely generate his fair share of headlines. If he could bring with him a young offensive assistant from San Francisco such as Mike McDaniel or Mike LaFleur, Saleh might be at the top of many Jets fans’ wish lists.

There has been a ton of reported interest from the Detroit Lions, but Saleh still appears to be very much in play for the Jets job.

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Before long, we might found out just how in-play he is.