Robert Saleh to Fill 49ers Defensive Coordinator Role, per Report

The San Francisco 49ers have a new defensive coordinator, per a report from ESPN. Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh will join the Niners ranks and assist with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

The San Francisco 49ers have found their new defensive coordinator, per a Monday report from ESPN’s Adam Caplan.

According to the report, former Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh will join head coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff as the Niners’ new defensive coordinator.

Saleh replaces former DC Jim O’Neil, whose defense ranked dead last in both points (480) and yards allowed (6,502).

The 38-year-old Saleh first started his NFL-level coaching in 2005 as a defensive intern with the Houston Texans and was eventually promoted to assistant linebackers coach with the team in 2009.

In 2011, Saleh joined the Seattle Seahawks as a quality control coach and was on the staff when Seattle beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

From there, Saleh served in said role with the Jaguars through 2016, coming over with former Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley, with whom he worked with the Seahawks.

Jacksonville operated in a 4-3 base defense last season, so it’s feasible Saleh implements the same scheme with the 49ers this season. San Francisco lacks ideal pieces in either defensive formations, so it’s essentially a clean slate.

It’s unknown whether or not Saleh will transition the Niners over to a 4-3.

According to the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, Shanahan is expected to retain defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina, linebackers coach Jason Tarver and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley.

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