Atlanta Falcons Hire Raheem Morris as Head Coach: A New Era Begins

Atlanta Falcons Hire Raheem Morris as Head Coach: A New Era Begins

After an extensive search for a new head coach, the Atlanta Falcons have decided to turn to their past in order to solidify their future. In a surprising move, the team announced on Thursday that they have hired Raheem Morris as their coach. This marks the first time in owner Arthur Blank’s over 20-year ownership tenure that he has hired a former NFL head coach. With a notable list of candidates, including the likes of Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel, Morris stood out among the rest. Let’s take a closer look at his background and what he brings to the Falcons organization.

Raheem Morris is no stranger to the Falcons organization. In 2020, he served as Atlanta’s interim coach for 11 games after the firing of Dan Quinn. Although he only achieved a 4-7 record with the team, Morris was not given the full-time job at the time. Instead, the club decided to hire Arthur Smith. However, following Smith’s recent departure from the Falcons, the organization has opted to bring Morris back and entrust him with the role of their full-time coach.

During his time with the Los Angeles Rams as the defensive coordinator, Morris achieved the ultimate success by winning a Super Bowl in 2021. This experience, coupled with his previous stint as a full-time NFL head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Falcons. Although his record during his tenure in Tampa Bay was not particularly impressive at 17-31, Morris has undoubtedly grown and evolved as a coach since then.

Familiar Faces and Promising Talent

One advantage that Morris has in his return to the Falcons is the familiarity he has with the team’s personnel. He coached in Atlanta from 2016 to 2019, serving as both the receivers coach and assistant head coach. This familiarity extends to key players on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Morris will have the privilege of working with talented skill-position players such as tight end Kyle Pitts, receiver Drake London, and running backs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier. Along with established offensive linemen Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom, Morris inherits a group of players with immense potential.

On the defensive side, the Falcons boast notable talents such as second-team All-Pro safety Jessie Bates III, cornerback A.J. Terrell, and defensive lineman Grady Jarrett. Morris will have the opportunity to build upon a solid foundation and further elevate the Falcons’ defense.

One of the key areas that Morris will need to address is the quarterback situation. Blank openly criticized the team’s quarterback play last season, citing it as one of the reasons for Smith’s dismissal. Currently, Taylor Heinicke and Desmond Ridder remain on the roster, but it is clear that improvements need to be made. Morris will need to assess the available options and make the necessary decisions to secure a strong quarterback presence for the Falcons.

As Morris settles into his new role, assembling a capable coaching staff will be crucial. One potential candidate for the offensive coordinator position is Zac Robinson, the Rams’ quarterbacks/pass-game coordinator. League sources have indicated that Robinson is a prime candidate for the role. However, Morris will likely explore multiple options before finalizing his coaching staff.

The hiring of Raheem Morris marks a significant moment for the Atlanta Falcons and their owner, Arthur Blank. Choosing a former NFL head coach demonstrates a commitment to stability and a belief in Morris’ ability to lead the team. With his winning track record and familiarity with the Falcons organization, Morris has the opportunity to usher in a new era of success in Atlanta. As he navigates the challenges ahead, particularly in the quarterback position and assembling his coaching staff, Morris will have the full support of the Falcons organization and their fans.

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