Falcons Name Raheem Morris As Interim Coach

The Falcons have finalized a deal to make Raheem Morris their interim head coach, as NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets. Morris, 44, takes over for Dan Quinn, who was jettisoned on Sunday. 

Morris served as the Buccaneers’ head coach from 2009 to 2011. He’s been with the Falcons since 2015, earning a promotion from secondary coach to defensive coordinator in 2020. Now, he’ll get a chance to audition for the top job as he tries to turn things around from 0-5. It all starts on Sunday, when the Falcons face the Vikings in Minnesota.

The Falcons bounced Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff on Sunday, leaving team president Rich McKay to oversee the roster. Dimitroff had served as the Falcons’ GM since 2008. Quinn, hired in 2015, was moments away from winning a Super Bowl less than four years ago. It’s been all downhill since then, and that NFC championship team fell apart rapidly. They managed to go 10-6 the following year but were 7-9 in each of the past two, and of course started this season 0-5. All in all, Quinn finished his run at a nearly even 43-42 through five-plus seasons.

Of course, there’s plenty of blame to go around in Atlanta. Even with tremendous talent at the skill positions, the Falcons will need a major overhaul this spring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Falcons Name Raheem Morris As Interim Coach

  1. bradthebluefish

    Curious how current OC Dirk Koetter feels about not getting the interim head coach job.

    • leefieux

      Curious if this wasn’t a diversity hiring for that very point. Same with Houston.

      • Michael Chaney

        How was Crennell a diversity hire? Name one other candidate on the Texans’ staff that would have been a better interim coach. He’s at least coached two teams and has a lot of experience.

    • tank62

      Koetter was awful at ASU and worse for the bucs. The world knows what he is as a head coach. Bad.
      Morris was in his 30s when he got his shot. He deserved it over Koetter

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        I’d agree Morris deserved it over Koetter, but I don’t personally see either as a great choice. It’s just an interim tag though so, eh.

      • markdavisbarber

        Morris was the D-Cord of the 31st ranked D unit in the NFL. That fact alone would make me search for a different interim coach.

        It’s shocking and a warning sign if the talent is so lacking of the coaching staff that there are no up and coming prospects.

  2. jessaumodesto

    He’s ok. Thought they may go with Rashaan Salaaam as the coach but oh well

  3. TJECK109

    They elevate the DC who runs a defense that’s giving up over 32 points per game?

    • UGA_Steve

      Well, they are 25th in DVOA despite a ton of injuries on defense. They are 21st on the offensive side despite a huge portion of the payroll being there. That was prior to wk 5, which probably brought them closer to even.

      For me, I think giving Morris the shot is the better option. Koetter has far more talent and weapons at his disposal and the Falcons offense looks far worse this year than in many prior years. No excuses for the offense as they have been injury free except for Julio, while the defense has been missing four of their top five DB/S the entire season.

      • Ak185

        Both offense and defense has been littered with injuries and poor morale. If Ridley is healthy, Jones isn’t. I have no idea why Ito Smith is still on the roster, though.

        Anyway, the offense should ideally be performing better, but the defense has a severe lack of talent, as you pointed out (Ricardo Allen as a starter, for example). Of course, the interim coach may be motivated to win to audition for a new team, which may hurt Atlanta’s draft position next year.

        It’ll be interesting to see if a win or two by Morris moves Atlanta’s choice lower in the draft-do they rebuild completely, or try to get a productive year from Ryan, Gurley, and Jones with their next coach? With a complete rebuild going on next door in Carolina (and possibly New Orleans next year and Tampa within three), there could be a lot of opportunity for a win now season in the NFC South within a year or two.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Precisely. The window looks closed and it’s probably time for a rebuild there.

    • Ak185

      Both comments are correct. The choice between two former Bucs busts is immaterial at the end of the day.

      • UGA_Steve

        LOL. So true. One has to wonder why the Falcons thought .. oooh .. lets go get Bucs castoffs to get us to the promised land. Joking of course as they both had some value, and it’s not like nabbing a Pats guy really did wonders in the front office.

        Rebuild and start asap. They have a few players that might get a decent pick despite vet contracts. Matthews would be coveted by Dallas and Philly both just to name a couple. Mack’s replacement is already here, so move him for whatever you can .. and there would be plenty of takers. I don’t think you can get Ryan off the books, but if you can, do it! I was a big supporter of his, but this rebuild will take 3-4 years and stringing his contract along will be a huge cap hit. Etc, etc, etc. A talented front office person could work some quick trades and get a jump start going .. not as easy as baseball, but it can be done if they are willing to do it.

        Blank just has to realize he can’t band-aid this thing.

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