A group of legislators from the state of Michigan sent a letter to Detroit Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp asking her to hire San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Rober Saleh as the team's next head coach. This comes shortly after the franchise fired Matt Patricia, who has been the Lions head coach since 2018. Saleh grew up in Michigan and is considered one of the top head coaching candidates for 2021.
"We understand the difficulty of these upcoming decisions," the letter reads as reported by ESPN. "As passionate and loyal Lions fans, we are asking you to hire Robert Saleh as the head coach of our team. He is the best candidate for the job and measures as such across every metric. A head coach like Robert can bring tremendous energy and heart to the franchise and would help us reach peaks that have seemed unobtainable for so long. We have an exceptional opportunity here and we trust you to make the best decision." The letter goes on to say the "next hiring decisions are critical," and the group hoes that "Robert Saleh as the head coach, not only for us, but for everyone across the loyal fanbase of our beloved Detroit Lions."
The letter is authored by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud and his staff. The group thanked Hamp for firing Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn as the team went 13-29 since the start of the 2018 season. Hamp said Saturday, the Lions are going to do a wide search for a head coach and general manager, which means the team could hire someone from the college ranks.
"A lot of us in the Legislature love the Lions and we decided why not throw out a helping hand," Hammoud told ESPN. "And kind of guide them kind of toward the coach that we'd like to see come home, who is a Michigan man."
Saleh, 41, has been the 49ers, defensive coordinator, since 2017. He has also spent time with the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the 49ers. He won a Super Bowl in 2013 when he was a defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks. He also helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl last year. Saleh played college football at Northern Michigan and was an assistant coach at Michigan State, Central Michigan and Georgia before heading to the NFL.