Robert Saleh is in his third season with the Jaguars after being named the linebackers coach on February 10, 2014. Saleh, who is entering his 12th year in the NFL, spent three seasons as the defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks from 2011-13.
Saleh has worked closely with LBs Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith. In 2015, Posluszny ranked second in the NFL in tackles per game (9.50), leading the Jaguars in tackles (133) for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Posluszny tied for the team lead with 13 tackles for loss and ranked tied-second with three interceptions.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2014, Smith ranked tied-sixth in the NFL with 128 tackles (99 solo) in 2015, leading all players age 25-or-younger in that category. He tied for the most tackles for loss by a Jaguars player and joined Lavonte David as the only NFL players with at least 125 tackles and multiple forced fumbles in the past season. Smith has produced 227 tackles in his NFL career, the most ever by a Jaguars player in his first two seasons.
In 2014, six different players made starts at linebacker for the Jaguars. Under Saleh’s guidance, Smith stepped in the starting lineup and ranked third among all rookies with 99 tackles. Smith played in all 16 games and led the team with two fumble recoveries while ranking second with nine tackles for loss. Fifth-year pro J.T. Thomas entered the season with only two career starts but moved into the starting lineup with a season-ending injury to Posluszny. Thomas registered a career-high 80 tackles along with two interceptions, two tackles for loss and five passes defensed while manning the middle of the defense.
As a part of Seattle’s staff, Saleh worked under Head Coach Gus Bradley (Seahawks defensive coordinator, 2009-12) and Defensive Line Coach Todd Wash (Seahawks defensive line coach, 2011-12). During his three seasons with the Seahawks, Saleh was responsible for assisting the defensive staff with day-to-day duties, while focusing on the development of the linebackers.
Prior to joining the Seahawks, Saleh spent six seasons with the Texans, including the final two as the assistant linebackers coach. In Houston, Saleh oversaw the growth of the Texans linebackers, including AP Defensive Rookie of the Year performances by DeMeco Ryans (2006) and Brian Cushing (2009). Saleh served as the Texans defensive assistant from 2005-08, handling the quality control aspects of the defense.
Saleh joined the Texans in 2005 after four seasons working in the collegiate ranks at Georgia (2005), Central Michigan (2004) and Michigan State (2002-03). A native of Dearborn, Mich., Saleh attended Northern Michigan University where he started at tight end for four years. Saleh and his wife, Sanaa, have three sons, Adam, Zane and Sam; and one daughter, Mila.
COACHING BACKGROUND: Michigan State 2002-03, Central Michigan 2004, Georgia 2005, Houston Texans 2005-2010, Seattle Seahawks 2011-2013, Jacksonville Jaguars 2014-15.