He worked under Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-13, and his first position coach job in the National Football League came as the linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2014-16. Saleh then took a job with the Seahawks in 2011 as a defensive quality-control coach and won a Super Bowl there. Saleh's ability shined in 2019 and 2020, a two-year period that produced a stark contrast in team success, but with one common theme that is vitally important to Saleh's candidacy: Saleh's defense will make the going tough for any opponent, no matter the surrounding circumstances.
In 2017, Kyle Shanahan hired Saleh to be his defensive coordinator with the 49ers. The 49ers' defensive coordinator already has interviewed with the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and the Jets, with NY becoming the first team to bring him into the building for a second interview.
Saleh could get a chance to prove his worth as a head coach in 2021. During Monday's press conference, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said the team would not limit itself to hiring a head coach from the offensive side of the ball, as long as they brought in someone who knows where the offenses are trending so the Eagles can have an "elite" offense once again. The Philadelphia Eagles have requested to interview Saleh as well, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source. He lasted just one year.
Saleh, who is from Dearborn, MI, and went to college at Northern Michigan University, began his coaching career at Michigan State in 2002 as a defensive assistant. Eagle Maven and Inside The Birds both reported the Eagles contact Riley on Monday. His defense was also able to do something the Eagles have had trouble generating this season: turnovers. Bieniemy has interest from six teams, but not the Eagles. He is 45-8 in his four seasons as Oklahoma's coach, and he previously spent two seasons as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Bob Stoops.
An assistant coach can not officially be hired for a head coaching job until his team has been eliminated from the playoffs. Kelly lasted three seasons in Philadelphia and made the playoffs once before he was sacked with one game left in the 2015 season.
Plenty of names should surface as candidates for the Eagles in the coming days.