A Different Bird?
By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The Atlanta Falcons coaching search is over. They hired Raheem Morris to succeed Arthur Smith.
Smith was fired after the Falcons’ season finale in January.
“He was offered (the job),” Morris’ agent Brian Levy confirmed in a text after reports of the Morris hire. “He accepted.”
“I am overjoyed for the opportunity for my family and I to return to Atlanta as the Falcons head coach,” Morris said in a statement posted on the team’s website.
“We know from firsthand experience what a first-class organization Atlanta is and what this team means to its city and its fans. I am incredibly appreciative of Arthur Blank for his leadership and for this entire organization for putting its trust in me to help lead this team.”
Morris, 47, has extensive coaching experience in the NFL and in the NFC South.
He was the defensive backs coach for Tampa Bay in 2007-08. He became their head coach for 2009-11. In three seasons his record was 17-31. The Buccaneers were 10-6 in 2019 but they missed the playoffs. He also coached in Tampa from 2002-05 as an assistant defensive coach.
He was the defensive backs coach for Washington from 2012-14. He was named the assistant head coach & pass game coordinator for the Falcons in 2015. He was moved to wide receivers coach (2016-19), then defensive coordinator in 2020. Atlanta got off to a 0-5 start in 2020 and Dan Quinn was fired. Morris was promoted to interim head coach on October 12, 2020. They were 4-7 under Morris.
He has been the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams from 2021-23. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022.
Blank said something interesting earlier in January that still resonates as the coaching search came to an end.
“At the end of the day, I understand the final decision will be mine, but mine will be in collaboration with others,” Blank said Jan. 8. “Like I said initially, we’ve kind of begun the process if you will. It doesn’t take long to get going, so we’re moving.
“But I also want to be clear on this is that there is no timetable. The only timetable is to do this correctly, take our time, be thoughtful, do all of the interviews, be respectful, make sure we have a full diverse set of candidates that we’re considering in every way.”
I’m not sure what to make of this hire. Morris has proven that he’s a good defensive coach.
Atlanta needs to get a franchise quarterback as soon as possible. They have a good offensive line and several talented skill position players.
Some examples are running backs Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London.
He will need to hire an offensive coordinator that will put the ball in their hands.
Up to this point General Manager Terry Fontenot has failed to address the quarterback position.
This will be the biggest hurdle to overcome for the team to have success. If Desmond Ridder is under center in September then Morris is destined to fail in his first year.