Last year, when the 49ers were one of the best teams in the NFL, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s name routinely emerged in the national conversation regarding potential head-coaching candidates. Earlier this year, when the 49ers were struggling, Saleh didn’t get mentioned. Now that the 49ers are surging toward contention, Saleh’s star has risen again.
Helping his cause was a letter from Michigan state legislators to Lions owner Shiela Ford Hamp, urging the her to hire the Michigan native as the successor to Matt Patricia.
In a Friday press conference with reporters, Saleh was asked about the letter.
“To be completely honest, I didn’t see anything or hear anything until coming off the practice field,” Saleh said. “So I don’t know what to make of it or anything like that. So it’s just whatever, I guess, you know.”
Saleh added that, generally, he’s not paying attention to the renewed head-coaching chatter.
“This league is so week to week and the most important week right now is Monday Night Football against Buffalo and we’ve got a team that’s in the middle of the playoff hunt, so it’s really a non-issue for me,” Saleh said. “I don’t talk about it. I don’t really even see it. I don’t have social media, I don’t look into the news. So it’s probably more for family and friends to enjoy and get a kick out of than it is for me. We’re completely locked into Buffalo.”
It’s hardly a surprise that a group of politicians would do something that politicians do. Regardless of whether it’s Saleh or someone else, the Lions need to finally make a good hire. After all, they haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. They need to finally change the course of a franchise that continues to suffer from the curse of Bobby Layne, more than a decade after the initial 50-year sentence expired.