If anyone can vouch for Robert Saleh, it's those that spent the last several years by his side within the San Francisco 49ers organization.
Based on their reaction to the news that Saleh had reached an agreement to become the Jets' new head coach, New York got this right.
Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who has played in Saleh's defense for the last three seasons, took to social media to praise the Jets.
"The Jets got a great one!" he wrote. "Congrats to them!"
Sherman added, in a text with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, that his former defensive coordinator is going to "turn that entire culture around" in New York.
Another veteran who played in San Francisco during Saleh's tenure, offensive lineman Joe Staley, explained just how deserving Saleh is to become a head coach in the NFL for the first time
"I am so damn excited for Saleh. He is a leader," Staley tweeted. "Unbelievable man and coach. Can’t wait to watch him turn around the Jets organization!"
49ers general manager John Lynch, who has had Saleh in San Francisco since he took over as GM in 2017, echoed the sentiment of those two players.
"Robert's earned this opportunity," he told Breer. "He's smart, a tremendously gifted leader and ready for this challenge. We'll miss him dearly but he's left us better and we'll be proud of all that he'll accomplish. The Jets are very fortunate."
Considering what Saleh was able to accomplish while in charge of San Francisco's defensive unit, it's no surprise that he received so many compliments on Thursday night. The 41-year-old took the 49ers from mediocrity on the defensive side of the ball—finishing last in the league in yards allowed the year before he arrived—to sheer dominance. In 2020, San Francisco finished with the fifth-best defense in the NFL (allowing only 314.4 yards per game). The year before, they had the best pass defense in the league, allowing only 169.2 yards per game through the air.
Here are some other reactions from former players on social media...