Why the Falcons chose Raheem Morris over Bill Belichick-ZoomTech News

The Atlanta Falcons are planning to rent Raheem Morris because the workforce’s subsequent head coach, sources advised ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.

Morris was final in Atlanta three years in the past when he was the interim head coach after Dan Quinn was fired following the workforce’s 0-5 begin. Morris went 4-7 because the interim coach, and Atlanta employed Arthur Smith to exchange him. The Falcons fired Smith after three 7-10 seasons.

Morris comes from the Los Angeles Rams, the place he had three profitable seasons because the defensive coordinator and is broadly revered across the league. He is coached on either side of the ball.

He is the primary head coach proprietor Arthur Clean has employed with prior NFL head-coaching expertise; he was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011. A younger head coach on the time — he was 32 when he was employed by Tampa.

This concludes a search the place Atlanta interviewed 14 candidates for the place and had a number of second interviews, together with with former New England Patriots head coach Invoice Belichick.

Taking a more in-depth look, Falcons reporter Michael Rothstein solutions two huge questions on Morris’ hiring, together with what is going to occur at quarterback. Nationwide reporter Dan Graziano dishes on what he is listening to in regards to the rent and why it wasn’t Belichick and draft analyst Matt Miller spins it ahead to the draft. Lastly, entrance workplace analyst Mike Tannenbaum grades the rent.

What has modified since Morris was Atlanta’s interim coach in 2020?

Rothstein: Loads. The roster is nearly fully turned over from when he left following the 2020 season. Solely cornerback AJ Terrell, defensive sort out Grady Jarrett, left sort out Jake Matthews, proper guard Chris Lindstrom, proper sort out Kaleb McGary and kicker Younghoe Koo stay from the roster he left behind and are beneath contract for 2024.

He’ll even be working with a unique normal supervisor, Terry Fontenot, who was introduced in in January 2021.

The one factor that can look the identical to him is perhaps Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the follow fields.



Swagu: Raheem Morris’ success as a coach tied to the QB place

Marcus Spears says Raheem Morris is the best rent for the Falcons, however provides that he’ll finally be judged on his selection at beginning quarterback.

What is going to the Falcons do at quarterback?

Rothstein: That is an open query and is perhaps dictated by who Morris decides to rent as offensive coordinator.

Each Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke — Atlanta’s quarterbacks final season — stay beneath contract in 2024, however Clean known as their play “poor” throughout his Jan. 8 press convention after firing Smith. So it is simple to surmise the Falcons will look to exchange half — or all — of their quarterback room from a season in the past.

Ridder was a third-round choose in 2022 and is on a rookie contract. Heinicke is a possible cap lower, a transfer that might save Atlanta $7 million.

Morris was on the Rams’ workers final season when Baker Mayfield got here in as a late-season alternative, and he’s scheduled to be a free agent, so there can be some familiarity there if Tampa Bay was unable to return to phrases with Mayfield. However that is all speculative at this level, and Mayfield and the Bucs have expressed a want to work one thing out.

It is extremely doable Atlanta brings in a free agent veteran for at the least the primary yr, and if a rookie quarterback is smart, the Falcons can both commerce up or draft one at No. 8 and have them compete. Or there is perhaps long run solutions like Kirk Cousins or Russell Wilson.

As soon as Morris will get settled and assembles his workers, the primary huge piece of what he and Fontenot have to determine is what to do at quarterback and the way that quarterback matches into an offense with good talent place gamers: Working backs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, receiver Drake London and tight ends Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith are all beneath contract for 2024.

Why the Falcons did not rent Invoice Belichick

Graziano: A number of sources have stated for weeks that Clean went into this course of wanting Belichick, and I believe the league and the business anticipated that to work out. However there have been hurdles that could not be cleared. The organizational construction in Atlanta entails Clean and CEO Wealthy McKay, and numerous the discussions with Belichick centered on the thought of what McKay’s position can be if Belichick got here to teach the workforce — and the way a lot energy and management the assorted events would have ultimately.

Belichick — who’s 15 wins shy of breaking Don Shula’s all-time file for many by a head coach — was seen as a short-term play, so there have been some within the Falcons’ constructing who had been involved about overhauling issues extensively solely to doubtlessly have to take action once more in a couple of years. Clean could have gone into the method wanting Belichick, however he additionally went in with an open thoughts and was prepared to take heed to the enter of others in his group. All of that, mixed with already excessive opinions of Morris, led to this shock consequence. And it might depart Belichick and not using a job in 2024.

What else are you listening to across the league on the rent?

Graziano: Morris has pretty much as good and full a résumé as any candidate on this cycle, plus a powerful relationship with Clean. So after interviewing 14 candidates, together with Belichick twice, the Falcons made a rent that makes all types of sense for them.

Morris was on Atlanta’s teaching workers from 2015 to 2020. A longtime defensive coach, he moved to the offensive facet of the ball to teach Falcons broad receivers from 2016 to 2019. He then turned defensive coordinator in 2020 and served out the ultimate 11 video games of that season as interim head coach following Quinn’s firing. For some cause, Clean determined at that time to rent Smith as an alternative of Morris. Effectively, three years later, the Falcons corrected their error.

Morris is extraordinarily well-liked and well-respected across the league, and Sean McVay and the Rams had been pushing for him to get a head coach job this offseason. Morris had his second interview with Clean earlier this week, and sources stated it went nice, which is not any huge shock. The 2 males are very shut. However between his earlier (albeit way back) head-coaching expertise, his work as an assistant on either side of the ball and the time he spent beneath McVay (whose assistants at all times appear to change into head coaches), Morris returns to Atlanta with all the requisite expertise to deal with this job.

If Morris opts to do protection at No. 8, who’s the right match for his first choose because the Falcons’ coach?

Miller: The 2024 draft class is not wealthy with top-end defensive expertise, but when Morris has his sights on a defender at No. 8, Alabama’s standout pass-rusher Dallas Turner matches the invoice. He is my top-ranked defender within the class, and he jogs my memory of the Jaguars’ Josh Allen due to his superior size and velocity. Turner had 10 sacks in his ultimate season for the Crimson Tide, and he not solely has speedy starter means but additionally the best upside of all defenders on this class. That is what the Falcons want, contemplating they posted a go rush win charge of 30.9% in 2023, final within the NFL.

How would you grade this rent?

Tannenbaum: Morris did an excellent job rebuilding a really younger and inexperienced Rams protection, however he has gone 21-38 as a head coach (three seasons with the Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011, and an interim stint in Atlanta in 2020). His first determination because the Falcons’ coach — who will play quarterback — can be completely essential for Morris.

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