Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris’ name is being thrown around as several franchises look to fill their head coaching positions. Morris was formerly the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he may be re-entering that role in the coming season.
Who is Rams’ defensive coordinator Raheem Morris?
Morris began his career at Hofstra and Cornell before moving to the NFL, signing on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a defensive assistant in 2002. He worked his way up for a few years before joining Kansas State as their defensive coordinator in 2006. He returned to the Bucs and became Tampa’s head coach between 2009 and 2011, going 17-31 over three seasons.
He has since worked with the Washington Commanders as a defensive backs coach, with the Atlanta Falcons in a number of positions including assistant head coach, wide receivers coach, defensive coordinator, and interim head coach, and most recently, with the Rams as their DC. He helped lead Los Angeles to a Super Bowl win in the 2021-22 season. With rumors of Sean McVay stepping down after this season, Morris may be looking elsewhere at head coaching openings, although the Rams may want to promote him internally if McVay does end up leaving.
Why would he make a good head coach?
Morris has experience as an NFL head coach, and while that experience didn’t go as well as many would have hoped, it was a long time ago, and he’s spent some valuable years with several teams around the league since then. His Super Bowl-winning defense from last season does a lot of the talking for him, and he has experience on the offensive side of the ball, too, making him a unique candidate.
He was a pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach when the Falcons went to the Super Bowl after the 2016 season. Morris has also been in the league for two decades with just a single one-year NCAA break in there. He has more than proved his prowess on the defensive side of the ball, and his extensive experience in multiple position coaching roles would make him a good head coach.
Which teams are interviewing him?
Update 1/12- The Denver Broncos have requested to interview Morris for their head coaching opening. He will have his interview in Los Angeles next Tuesday.
It’s been a over a decade since Morris’ tenure with the Buccaneers ended in disaster and he’s gained plenty of experience and knowledge in the time since then to have a more successful stint as the head honcho in charge. Morris is one of the more respected defensive coaches in the league and his experience as a defensive backs coach would come in handy in a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Davante Adams. The biggest question marks would surround the staff that he’d assemble in Denver and how he would be able to reverse the drastic decline of quarterback Russell Wilson.
Update 1/13 - The Indianapolis Colts are interviewing Morris for their head coach opening on Friday.
The Colts need an experienced leader at the helm after the Jeff Saturday half-season, and Morris could be the answer to this need. Finding ways to shut down Trevor Lawrence, Derrick Henry, and whichever top QB the Texans draft in 2023 are the Colts’ major focuses. There’s plenty of talent on that Indianapolis team, but they need an experienced coach to figure out how to use it.