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Falcons hire Raheem Morris as new head coach: Why Atlanta passed on Bill Belichick, others for Rams defensive coordinator | Sporting News

The Falcons have reportedly found their next head coach in Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, according to multiple sources.

The hiring comes as a bit of a shock considering Atlanta had been the lone team linked to future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick. After several meetings with Belichick over the weekend, the Falcons interviewed Morris at the start of the week and reportedly made a decision Thursday. Morris was one of at least a dozen candidates the team interviewed as part of the search for a new head coach.

Morris has 21 years of NFL coaching experience, most recently spending the last three seasons with the Rams. He served as the Buccaneers head coach from 2009-2011 and has a history with the Falcons, as well.

Morris was on Atlanta’s staff for six seasons from 2015 to 2020, serving a range of roles from assistant head coach to defensive coordinator and even an interim head coaching role in 2020.

For more on Morris, his history with the Falcons and his NFL coaching experience, The Sporting News has you covered below.

Who is Raheem Morris?

Morris, 47, is from Newark, New Jersey. He played college football as a safety at Hofstra and began his career as a coach immediately after his playing days were over.

Morris has been coaching at the collegiate and NFL level since 1998. He took his first NFL job with the Buccaneers back in 2002 after spending three seasons as a defensive backs coach at Cornell and Hofstra.

Morris won a Super Bowl in his first season as Tampa Bay’s defensive quality control coach. He was eventually promoted to defensive assistant and assistant defensive backs coach before taking Kansas State’s defensive coordinator role in 2006.

After one year at Kansas State, Morris returned to the NFL, joining the Buccaneers as their defensive backs coach. In 2009, Tampa Bay promoted Morris to his first head coaching job.

Morris spent three seasons as the Buccaneers’ head coach, tallying a 17-31 record with just one winning season (10-6) in 2010. He was fired after going 4-12 in 2011.

Morris was immediately picked up by the Washington, serving as the team’s secondary coach from 2012 to 2014.

In 2015, he joined the Falcons’ staff, where he’s spent the last six seasons.

Raheem Morris’ history with Falcons

Morris served a variety of roles over his six seasons in Atlanta from 2015 to 2020.

He was the assistant head coach from 2015 to 2019 while taking on responsibilities as the defensive passing game coordinator, wide receivers coach and offensive passing game coordinator during that stint.

In 2020, Morris was promoted to interim head coach after Dan Quinn was fired following an 0-5 start. The Falcons went 4-7 under Morris, finishing last in the NFC South with a 4-12 record.

After his interim head coaching stint, Morris was hired to be the Rams’ defensive coordinator under head coach Sean McVay. 

Morris spent three seasons with the Rams in that role, earning his second Super Bowl ring in 2021.

Following the Rams’ overachieving 2023 season, Morris was hired by the Falcons as their next head coach.

Raheem Morris head coaching record

You can find Morris’ record from four separate head coaching stints below.

Team Age Year Record
Buccaneers 33 2009 3-13
Buccaneers 34 2010 10-6
Buccaneers 35 2011 4-12
Falcons (interim) 44 2020 4-7
Total     21-38
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