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Falcons Coach Raheem Morris Credits Growth to Rams' Sean McVay

New Atlanta Falcons coach Raheem Morris says that learning under Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay gave him the perfect opportunity to learn and better himself.

Raheem Morris is a familiar name to the Atlanta Falcons after spending six years as an assistant and interim coach from 2015 to 2020, so him returning as the team's permanent head coach was quite the triumphant homecoming.

Even though Morris is only three years removed from his previous tenure in Atlanta, he is a very different coach now than he was then. For him, the largest part of his development is working as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator and learning from one of the most-revered coaches in the league, Sean McVay.

At his introductory press conference on Monday, Morris spoke glowingly about McVay, whom he described as a "really good friend."

Feb 16, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay (left) and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris react during Super Bowl LVI championship rally at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

“That goes back to me talking about where I've come from," Morris told reporters. "Getting a chance to go help a friend in Sean McVay go win a championship. Getting a chance to be around [Rams general manager] Les Snead and really be jealous of that relationship.

"When I got there, one of the first things I told Sean just noticing how we moved through daily rhythm and routine and things that we've done was, ‘Man, I am jealous of you and Les Snead's relationship.’ I said, to watch you guys collaborate and move in silence, be able to have your communication ongoing, have your communication consistent, honest, open, all of those thing you guys do with each other, that is the next step."

During his three years in the City of Angels, Morris was an integral part of the Rams' success. He led the defense during the Rams' Super Bowl run in 2021, then led a resurgence on that side of the ball despite having little starting experience outside of future Hall of Fame defensive lineman Aaron Donald.

As Morris returns to Atlanta, this time as the full-time leader, he knows that the lessons McVay shared will guide him through the next chapter of his career.

"It was no more fun than helping one of your best friends in the world, one of the people you care about, win a championship with an organization, having a chance to take all of those lessons learned, being able to listen, being able to communicate, and now bringing it back here to the Atlanta community to go out here and win, what we need to do," Morris said. "I've got a lot of confidence that we can do that with the people that we know are here.”

Morris will be tasked with trying to get the Falcons back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017, when he was an assistant on Dan Quinn's staff.