The New York Jets believe that they have found their new head coach who can change the team’s fortunes.
The Jets are hiring Robert Saleh as their new head coach, making him the first Muslim to run an NFL sideline. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says Saleh is getting a 5-year deal.
Saleh has spent the past four years being the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator. During that time Saleh turned an awful 49ers’ defense from last in the league to a top 5 ranked defense over the last three years.
Before Saleh was hired by the Jets, no Muslim had ever been an NFL head coach, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group.
We welcome this development as another sign of the increasing inclusion and recognition of American Muslims in our diverse society,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement late Thursday.
Saleh takes over a Jets team that only won two games this past season. Saleh will have his work cut out for him, but at least the Jets have the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft and over $70 million in cap space for free agents.
Saleh is well known for being a master motivator around the league. Luckily for him, the Jets need a lot of motivation which is exactly what Saleh plans on doing.