Raheem Morris is appointed head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Raheem Morris is appointed head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons have hired Raheem Morris as their new head coach, the organization announced Thursday, and there is no “interim” in the title this time.

Before we go into Morris’ whole past, let’s go back to October 12, 2020. That was the day Morris was appointed interim head coach of the Falcons, a day after the team fired Dan Quinn. At the time, the Falcons had 11 games left in the 2020 season. Atlanta was 0-5 under Quinn, then 4-7 with Morris as interim coach.

Fast forward to the current day, and Thursday’s news is effectively a welcome back for Morris, only better. Morris becomes the first Black full-time head coach in team history.

“I am overjoyed for the opportunity for my family and me to return to Atlanta as the Falcons’ head coach,” Morris stated in the statement. “We know personally what a first-rate organization Atlanta is and how important this club is to the city and its supporters.

I am grateful to Arthur Blank for his leadership and to the whole company for placing their faith in me to assist lead this team. I am grateful to the Rams organization for the experience and chance to be a part of the team. The Rams are a first-rate operation from top to bottom, led by the Kroenke family, Kevin Demoff, Les Snead, Sean McVay, and the whole staff. We enjoyed our time in Los Angeles, adored the fans, and believe the Rams have a bright future.

Since leaving Atlanta following his temporary term, Morris has only shown his ability to lead a club to victory.

Morris returns to Atlanta following three seasons as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator. Between 2021 and 2023, the Rams finished 12-5, 5-12, and 10-7. The Rams won the Super Bowl in 2021, with a defense that ranked sixth in running yards allowed, 22nd in passing yards allowed, and 17th in total yards allowed.

Prior to that, Morris spent six years in Atlanta. He joined the organization in 2015 as the Falcons’ associate head coach and pass game coordinator. In 2016, he changed the second part of his position to wide receivers coach, which he later expanded to passing game coordinator from 2017 to 2019. In 2020, Morris was appointed to defensive coordinator. As previously said, five games in, he stepped in as temporary head coach.

The Falcons’ last winning and postseason seasons were under Morris’ leadership, from 2016 to 2017. In 2016, the Falcons fell to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. The next year, the Falcons were eliminated in the divisional round by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Morris was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach from 2009 to 2011, followed by three years as the Washington Redskins’ defensive backs coach before joining Atlanta in 2015. Morris led the Buccaneers to a 17-31 record. He was the defensive backs coach for two seasons before taking over as head coach.

Morris took a year off from the NFL in 2006 while serving as defensive coordinator at Kansas State. This divided his time with the Buccaneers, who he had also played with before to the NCAA.

Morris got his professional debut in Tampa Bay. In his league debut in 2002, he served as the defensive quality control coach. He was the defensive assistant in 2003 and the assistant defensive backs coach in 2004-05.

Prior to that, he completed four years of college, three at Hofstra University and one at Cornell University.

Morris was born September 3, 1976, in Irvington, New Jersey. He played safety in college at Hofstra.

The Falcons started their hunt for a new head coach immediately after firing Arthur Smith on January 8, eventually interviewing 14 candidates. Smith finished his three seasons in Atlanta with a 21-30 total record, going 7-10 each year from 2021 to 2023.

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