Raheem Morris

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints created nine full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-7-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Raheem Morris Gets Second Vikings Interview

Raheem Morris is a finalist for the Vikings head coaching gig. According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin (via Twitter), the Vikings conducted a second interview with the Rams defensive coordinator. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter), that second interview took place this evening.

[RELATED: Vikings To Conduct Second Interviews With DeMeco Ryans, Kevin O’Connell]

Morris, 45, has an NFL coaching background dating back to 2002. He has spent time primarily as a defensive backs coach, serving in that role in Tampa Bay (on two different occasions, including the Super Bowl XXXVII-winning squad) and Washington. However, he also took over as the Bucs’ head coach after the firing of Jon Gruden in January of 2009. He had an encouraging year in 2010, posting a 10-6 record, but the one preceding and following that campaign saw the team put up a combined record of 7-25.

After a three year stint in Washington, Morris got his next prominent coaching positions in Atlanta. He served as an assistant head coach and pass game coordinator from his arrival in 2015 to 2019. Then, in 2020, he became the team’s DC until taking over as interim HC following Dan Quinn’s firing. This past offseason, Morris was hired by the Rams to take over for now-Chargers HC Brandon Staley as the team’s defensive coordinator.

49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell also got second interviews for the Vikings gig.

Vikings Request Interview With Rams’ DC Raheem Morris

Another name has been added to the list of potential head coaching candidates in Minnesota. The team has requested an interview with Raheem Morris, the current Rams defensive coordinator (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Peter Schrager). 

Morris, 45, has an NFL coaching background dating back to 2002. He has spent time primarily as a defensive backs coach, serving in that role in Tampa Bay (on two different occasions, including the Super Bowl XXXVII-winning squad) and Washington. However, he also took over as the Bucs’ head coach after the firing of Jon Gruden in January of 2009. He had an encouraging year in 2010, posting a 10-6 record, but the one preceding and following that campaign saw the team put up a combined record of 7-25.

After a three year stint in Washington, Morris got his next prominent coaching positions in Atlanta. He served as an assistant head coach and pass game coordinator from his arrival in 2015 to 2019. Then, in 2020, he became the team’s DC until taking over as interim HC following Dan Quinn’s firing. He interviewed to remain in Atlanta on a full-time basis, but the team ultimately went with former Titans OC Arthur Smith.

This past offseason, Morris was hired by the Rams to take over for now-Chargers HC Brandon Staley as the team’s defensive coordinator. His work in L.A. has prompted many to expect more head coaching opportunities, so it was surprising this is the first request he has received in the 2022 coaching cycle.

The news brings the total number of candidates linked to the Vikings’ HC vacancy to ten. Here is the updated list:

 

Rams Hire Raheem Morris As DC

The Rams made it official Thursday. Raheem Morris will become the team’s third defensive coordinator in three years.

Morris will replace Brandon Staley, who made a late surge to land the Chargers’ HC job last week. While Morris has been a head coach and interim HC, this move marks the first time a team has hired the 44-year-old coach to become its defensive coordinator. Morris worked his way up to that role in Atlanta, rising to the position in 2020, after spending five seasons as a position coach under Dan Quinn. This interestingly included stays coaching the Falcons’ DBs and wideouts. The Falcons fired Quinn in October and promoted Morris but tabbed Arthur Smith as its full-time HC last week.

A former Tampa Bay head coach, Morris will reunite with Sean McVay in Los Angeles. McVay’s first NFL job, as an offensive assistant, was under Jon Gruden with the 2008 Buccaneers. Morris coached Tampa Bay’s DBs that season, prior to being promoted to head coach in 2009. The pair again worked together in Washington, with their tenures as OC (McVay) and DBs coach (Morris) overlapping in 2014.

With this move coming four days after Staley’s departure, the Rams did not conduct a wide-ranging search before hiring Morris. The longtime Falcons coach, however, interviewed for the Atlanta full-time HC gig and met with the Jaguars about their HC and DC positions. The Rams are coming off a season in which they used a bevy of defensive schemes to rank first in both scoring and total defense. With Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey signed long-term, Morris will enjoy a personnel upgrade from the defense he coached in Atlanta.

GM/Coach Notes: Broncos, WFT, Jaguars, Chargers, Dolphins

George Paton was introduced as the Broncos general manager today, and the executive gave a thoughtful response when explaining how he’d help to reestablish a winning culture in Denver.

“There’ll be no shortcuts,” Paton said (via the team website). “We’re going to embrace the day-to-day [process], we’re going to embrace the grind, and we’re going to do it together. … We’re going to be progressive, we’re going to be innovative, we’re going to be forward-thinking and we’re going to use all the information at our disposal to make the best informed decisions.”

Paton also noted the importance of hitting in the draft and being innovative in their evaluation of potential acquisitions.

“Drafting and developing players will be our foundation,” Paton said. “It’s going to be the lifeblood of this football team.”

Paton joined the Broncos on a six-year deal. Under the restructured front office, Paton and head coach Vic Fangio will report to John Elway, who will have less to do with the team’s day-to-day roster decisions.

Let’s check out some more GM and coaching notes…

  • Washington previously interviewed Eric Stokes for their open general manager vacancy, reports Jason La Canfora (via Twitter). The 47-year-old has been working in NFL front offices since 2002, including stints with the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Panthers. He joined Washington as their director of pro scouting this past summer. We learned yesterday that Washington is expected to ultimately hire former Panthers GM Marty Hurne for the position.
  • Scott Linehan and Joe Cullen will interview for the Jaguars open coordinator positions this week, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). We learned of Urban Meyer‘s interest in both coaches this past weekend. Linehan, who’s candidate for the offensive coordinator gig, has had a long coaching career, including a stint as the head coach of the Rams. Cullen, a candidate for the defensive coordinator opening, has served as Baltimore’s defensive line coach since 2016. Rapoport notes that Raheem Morris was also a candidate for the defensive coordinator opening, but we’ve since learned that Morris will be taking the same role with the Rams.
  • The Chargers won’t be retaining offensive line coach James Campen, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Campen spent more than a decade with the Packers, and following a one-season stint with the Browns, Campen joined the Chargers as their offensive line coach this past offseason. However, he won’t stick around, as Schefter notes that new head coach Brandon Staley will be bringing in his own OL coach.
  • The Dolphins have parted ways with offensive line coach Steve Marshall and promoted Lemuel Jeanpierre to the role, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Marshall has spent more than a decade coaching in the NFL, and he joined Miami this past offseason. Jeanpierre has spent time on the Seahawks, Raiders, and Dolphins coaching staffs, serving as Miami’s assistant offensive line coach in 2020.

Rams Likely To Hire Raheem Morris As DC

After Brandon Staley landed the Chargers’ head coaching job, the Rams are moving quickly to replace him. The Rams are “focusing” on Raheem Morris as their new defensive coordinator, sources told Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Garafolo cautions that the deal isn’t quite done yet, but it’s “looking like he will be the one” to replace Staley. It’s been a busy past six months for Morris, who started the 2020 season as Atlanta’s defensive coordinator before getting promoted to interim head coach when Dan Quinn was fired after five games. The Falcons went on an initial hot streak under Morris, leading to some reporting that he had impressed team brass and could be a real candidate for the full-time job there, but the team ultimately fizzled down the stretch and then hired Arthur Smith instead.

He still got an interview from Atlanta, and also got a head coaching interview with the Jaguars. After the Jags hired Urban Meyer, he interviewed with Jacksonville for their DC role. Rapoport added in a follow-up tweet that Morris was “the target in several other places,” so it sounds like the Rams won a bidding war of sorts.

There had been some talk that the Rams could go in-house to replace Staley, like with cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, but clearly Sean McVay had other ideas. Morris was previously the head coach of the Buccaneers for three seasons from 2009-11, where he went 17-31.

He’s highly regarded in league circles though, and had the Falcons fighting really hard despite the 0-5 start. With Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey at his disposal, he’ll have a lot of talent to work with in Los Angeles.

Jaguars To Interview Raheem Morris For DC

New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is no stranger to success as a sideline general, but the professional game brings with it a whole host of considerations and problems that don’t exist at the college level. Perhaps as a result of that, Meyer is eyeing a former NFL head coach for his defensive coordinator post.

As Albert Breer of SI.com reports (via Twitter), Raheem Morris will interview for the Jacksonville DC job this week. Morris actually interviewed for the team’s HC gig after he finished out the 2020 campaign as the Falcons’ interim head coach, and he of course served as the Buccaneers’ HC from 2009-11. In total, Morris has a 21-38 head coaching record.

Despite that less-than-impressive mark, Morris remains well-respected both as a coach and as a defensive mind. He got the Falcons to show some signs of life this year after Dan Quinn‘s dismissal, and he did get an interview for Atlanta’s full-time HC position, which ultimately went to Arthur Smith. He was also a potential candidate for the Raiders’ DC job, though Vegas opted for Gus Bradley instead.

Morris will have a lot of work to do if he joins the Jags. The club has some talent on the defensive side of the ball, but it did finish towards the bottom of the pack in terms of total defense this year.

Breer notes that Meyer was considering Quinn for the DC position — Quinn recently accepted the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator job — and that Meyer is a big fan of the type of scheme that Quinn ran in Seattle earlier this decade. After having worked for Quinn for six years in Atlanta, Morris would presumably bring some of those same concepts in addition to his own defensive acumen.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com first reported (via Twitter) that Morris and Meyer were in contact about the defensive coordinator position.

2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Exiting the regular season, six teams are searching for new head coaches. That number is up from last season but not quite as high as 2019, though there may well be more vacancies that emerge during the playoffs.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-21 (7:05pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Jaguars To Interview Eric Bieniemy, Robert Saleh, Raheem Morris

Clarity emerged in the Jaguars’ Doug Marrone replacement search Tuesday. The Jags are set to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and former Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

While Urban Meyer has been the name most closely connected to this search, no interview has been scheduled. Bieniemy will speak with Jags brass Wednesday, with Morris and Saleh interviews on tap for Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Now a regular on the HC interview circuit, Bieniemy has been Kansas City’s OC since Patrick Mahomes‘ QB1 tenure began. While Bieniemy is not the Chiefs’ primary play-caller, he has long been expected to land a coaching gig this year. He may hit for the cycle in coaching interviews as well. The Chargers have requested an interview with their former running back. The Lions have already interviewed Bieniemy, while the Jets and Falcons will speak with him as well.

Saleh would be an interesting hire. He has a history with the Jaguars during Shad Khan‘s ownership tenure. The current 49ers defensive play-caller spent three seasons (2014-16) as Jacksonville’s linebackers coach. A Michigan native, Saleh has been most closely connected to the Lions job and has already interviewed with the Falcons. The Bolts submitted an interview request as well.

Re-emerging on the HC radar for the first time in many years, Morris interviewed for the Falcons job he held during this season’s second half and has come up in the Raiders’ defensive coordinator search. The Jags are the first non-Falcons franchise to request a Morris HC meeting, however.

The Jaguars have also requested an interview with Titans OC Arthur Smith, joining every other HC-seeking team in that regard.

Jaguars Request Raheem Morris Interview

The Jaguars have requested an interview with Raheem Morris, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. The Falcons’ interim head coach is also up for the job in Atlanta, but he may have better odds elsewhere.

[RELATED: Latest On Urban Meyer]

Morris began the year as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator before taking over for Dan Quinn midway through the year. After he took over, the Falcons posted a 4-7 record and showed some signs of improvement. Between that and his time with the Bucs, he has a lifetime 21-38 record as a head coach.

Much of the chatter surrounding the Jaguars’ vacancy has been centered around Urban Meyer. But, depending on who you ask, the big-name college coach may be seeking upwards of $12MM per year to jump to the pros. Also, there’s still a chance that he could pass on the chance to jump to the NFL, or that someone like Morris could shine brighter throughout the process.

The Jaguars are also looking at 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as well as Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. And, at the same time, they’re in the midst of their GM search. On Tuesday morning, former Browns GM Ray Farmer became the latest name in that group.