The Atlanta Falcons have been navigating a mine field of questionable decisions over the past week but they got one thing right. The team has named Raheem Morris to be the defensive coordinator for the 2020 season.
Surprisingly, Morris had been coaching the Falcons wide receivers since 2016, considering that he had specialized on the defensive side of the ball before that. After the Falcons bye week, Morris moved back to defense to coach the defensive backs and team with linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich to call defensive plays.
Since then, the Falcons have only surrendered 18.1 points per game and pulled off upsets on the road at New Orleans and San Francisco. The team’s defense has also created 13 turnovers compared to just four in the first half of the season.
Morris came out of college coaching to become the defensive quality control coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He later became the team’s defensive backs coach. After spending one season as defensive coordinator at Kansas State, Morris returned to Tampa to coach defensive backs again. In 2007, the Buccaneers secondary was the best in the league under Morris.
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Morris was named head coach of Tampa Bay in 2009. In his first season the Buccaneers finished 3-10. In his second season the team improved to 10-6 but was fired by the Buccaneers after a 4-10 season in 2011.
In 2015, Morris joined the Falcons as assistant head coach/defensive head coach as part of Dan Quinn’s first staff in Atlanta. Now he’s ready to bring the success he’s achieved in the second half of this season to the entire defense.
This has been a season Falcons fans are going to want to forget the minute the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is over. With Raheem Morris taking over the defense, fans at least have something to look forward to next season.