| Detroit Free Press
What’s next for Detroit Lions after firing Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia
Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez weigh in Nov. 28, 2020, after the Detroit Lions fired Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn.
The Detroit Lions are in the market for a head coach (and a general manager), and one of the easy connections to make is with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Why? Well, aside from the local tie — Saleh is a Dearborn native who played at Fordson and then Northern Michigan in the mid-to-late 1990s — he is a rising star in coaching circles.
STOCK WATCH: Saleh makes impressive case to be next Lions coach
And though the 49ers rode their defense to a Super Bowl appearance last season in Saleh’s third season, it is this season that is maybe more impressive.
Richard Sherman, one of Saleh’s cornerbacks and one of the most out-spoken stars in the NFL, stumped for his coordinator after San Francisco’s eye-opening win over the Rams on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The 49ers forced four turnovers as they beat the Rams, 23-20, in a season where almost every important San Francisco player has suffered injury, including Sherman, defensive Nick Bosa and safety Jaquiski Tartt, among others.
REPLACING PATRICIA: 5 candidates for new Lions coach
“You’ve gotta give Robert Saleh an abundance of credit, you have to give him an unusual amount of credit, and I don’t think he’s getting enough credit, not just here, but in the league in general,” Sherman said after Sunday’s win.
“To have the injuries we’ve had, week after week after week, the setbacks, week after week. We lose to D-linemen during the bye week … and he never makes an excuse. And statistically, we’re still a top-five defense in almost every category.”
The Niners are No. 6 in total yards allowed per game, No. 4 in passing yards allowed and No. 10 in rushing yards allowed.
But still, the point is taken.
“I expect him to be a head coach next year because he’s able to rally men. He’s a leader of men, and that goes a long way,” Sherman said.
How long of a way? Perhaps the 3.3 miles from Fordson High to the Lions’ headquarters in Allen Park? Remains to be seen.
Contact Kirkland Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.