Raheem Morris is set to fill another major hole on his coaching staff with a former Rams staffer. The Falcons announced that they’ve hired Jimmy Lake as their new defensive coordinator.
Lake worked alongside Morris this past season in Los Angeles, serving as a defensive assistant. Lake ended his brief coaching hiatus when he joined the Rams last offseason, and he’s rapidly climbed the coaching ladder by securing Atlanta’s coordinator job.
Prior to his brief break, Lake was the head coach at Washington. He had a tumultuous two years in that role, a stint that featured a suspension for shoving one of his players away from a fight. Less than a week after being handed his suspension, Lake was fired as head coach, ending his tenure with a 7-6 record.
Of course, prior to those two forgettable years, Lake made a name for himself in Washington, working his way up from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator and, eventually, head coach. Lake’s previous NFL jobs included assistant positions with the Buccaneers and Lions.
The 47-year-old coach wasn’t previously connected to the Atlanta job. The only two known candidates for the gig were former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Ultimately, Morris decided to opt for the familiar face, which is what he did when he added Rams QBs coach Zac Robinson as his new offensive coordinator.
The Falcons also announced that they’ve retained Marquice Williams as their special teams coordinator. The organization seemed to be trending in this direction, and Williams made his preferences clear when he rejected job opportunities elsewhere. Now, the veteran coach will stick around for Morris’s first season at the helm.