“Falcons Enlist Ex-Rams Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris as Head Coach”

The Atlanta Falcons announced on Thursday that Raheem Morris, the former defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, has joined the team as a coach. “I am excited to be going back to Atlanta as the head coach for my family and the Falcons,” Morris said in a statement. We have firsthand knowledge of Atlanta’s exceptional caliber and the significance it holds for the community and its supporters. I am incredibly appreciative of the organization as a whole as well as the faith that Arthur Blank has placed in me to help lead this team.”

It was previously anticipated that Bill Belichick, the former New England Patriots coach, would appear to be in an ideal spot to land the job when he went in for an interview. Morris, though, is returning to the league where he worked in a variety of jobs for the Atlanta organization from 2015 to 2020 and as head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011.

Arthur Smith was immediately fired by the Falcons following the 2023 season, as the team finished with a 7-10 record. The Atlanta Falcons are celebrating a historic day, according to team owner Arthur Blank. We are thrilled to announce Raheem Morris as the next head coach in Atlanta following a thorough search. Raheem is the ideal leader to guide our squad into the future with his 26 years of NFL expertise, which includes playing in our league’s champion in a first-rate organization for the last three nights.”

Morris might not have the best head coaching record available at 47. In three seasons with the Buccaneers, he had a poorer record (17-31) than Smith (21-30). He also had a 4-7 performance as the Falcons’ temporary head coach following Dan Quinn’s firing in 2020.

Morris is highly regarded by many in the Falcons organization and has a strong recommendation from his present boss, Rams head coach Sean McVay, despite having little head coaching experience. This places him in a comparable position to a person such as Belichick, the former head coach of the Patriots for 24 years. Morris also held interviews with Ed Donatell, the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, and Bobby Slowik, the dynamic coordinator for the Houston Texans.

Morris made the following statement on Thursday: “I am incredibly grateful to the Rams organization for this amazing opportunity and experience. The Rams are an elite team in every aspect, led by Kevin Demoff, Les Snead, Sean McVay, the Kroenke family, and the whole staff. I’m excited to work with Raheem and know that his skills in our building will only lead to success.”

For several inside the Falcons organization who were worried that Belichick would either get the position or assume a lot of responsibility, Morris’ hiring is welcome news. Terry Fontenot, the general manager, should be especially happy about this since it means he will be able to keep his hold over the football operations division.

“I am looking forward to work closely with Raheem to bring a championship to Atlanta,” Fontenot stated. “We have seen many very competent individuals via this process, and we have undertaken an incredibly thorough and exhaustive search. Raheem is a great fit for our team’s leadership, the Atlantan culture, and our common goal of success. I am excited to work with him and know he will infuse our facility with vitality.”

For anything pertaining to football, Fontenot and Morris will answer straight away Blank. Smith and Fontenot had already told Rich McKay, the team’s CEO, of this.

“The role or characteristics will not be diminished in any way, shape, or form,” McKay declared at the beginning of the coaching search. “His duty runs the personnel department, and in my view, the record speaks for itself.”

Earlier this month, Blank said of Fontenot’s performance, “an excellent job as our general manager.”

Only the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Commanders have head coaching openings remaining after the Falcons were filled. Belichick, who is 71 years old, has not conducted interviews, raising the prospect that he may decide to leave the NFL during the upcoming season, beginning in 1974.

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