Detroit Lions: 4 dream replacements for Matt Patricia

Robert Saleh, San Francisco 49ers (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Robert Saleh, San Francisco 49ers (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /
4 of 4
Robert Saleh, San Francisco 49ers
Robert Saleh, San Francisco 49ers (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Robert Saleh, DC – San Francisco 49ers

Based on the Lions’ defensive struggles over the past three seasons, Dearborn native Robert Saleh makes perfect sense for Detroit. That’s despite the failures of his predecessor in Patricia, who came to the Motor City in 2018 as a heralded defensive guru himself with a Super Bowl pedigree.

As the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers over the past four years, Saleh was part of the amazing turnaround in the City by the Bay. After posting a disappointing 4-12 record in 2018, the Niners turned things around the following year. They would end 2019 with a 13-3 record and a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

Saleh transformed the 49ers’ defense from being ranked 24th in 2017 to the second-best defensive unit in the NFL just two years later. This season, San Francisco has the fifth-best defense in average yards allowed (315.9) and ranks 10th in points allowed per game (23.4).

2021 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions quick hitting 7-round mock. light. Hot

If the Detroit Lions wish to keep Darrell Bevell as their offensive coordinator, hiring Robert Saleh to forge a new direction for the defense as head coach makes a lot of sense. And it would keep the consistency on the offensive side of the ball that the Lions have invested in over the past two seasons.