Raheem Morris made a good first impression in his first match as the Atlanta Falcons interim head coach and won the team’s first victory of the year. By stacking more Ws, Morris can stay in Atlanta for a long time.
Rich McKay, President and CEO of Falcons, joins the NFL Network NFL NOW On Friday afternoon, Morris said he should be a candidate for the opening round around the league, not just in Atlanta.
“The unique thing about Raheem is that he has 11 weeks,” McKay said. “What you want to do is not to make it 11 weeks tentative-usually the tentative one will be 2-3 weeks-but in this case it’s good for Raheem. It’s him. It’s a good chance to imprint his stamp on the football team and how we play. Let’s try it. We will support him as much as possible. Win as many games as possible. Obviously he should be a candidate. He has the right. He was going to be on everyone’s list this year anyway, so he should be on our list I wonder? Yes. In this case he has 11 games to see what we can do. “
Morris spent three years as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011, editing records 17-31. He won the 2010 season of 10 wins after a year of 3 wins in his first campaign and a 4 win campaign leading to his dismissal.
From time to time, a second go-around allows the coach to adjust his approach to handle the work. Morris has spent time on both sides of the ball in recent years and being an assistant head coach has helped him in this regard. He will audition for 11 games in Atlanta. Tentatively, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley could have worse results than they were on his side.
The 44-year-old coach was scheduled to become a head coach candidate last year after spending time attacking and helping to turn around the Falcons defense when he returned to that side of the ball. Unfortunately, to start the season, the Falcons were a defensive disaster that eventually led to the dismissal of Dunquin. How the unit turns determines the level of interest in Atlanta that keeps Morris and other teams interested.
The history of interim coaches who take over full-time is not exactly clean. There are some success stories like Marty Schottenheimer in Cleveland in the mid-1980s and Jeff Fisher who took over Houston in 1994 (Fisher is pretty hot now, but he went to 142-120 and went to I went to the Super Bowl with Houston / Tennessee). Jason Garrett had a long leash in Dallas, but eventually didn’t go anywhere. Leslie Frazier of Minnesota had one 10-win season between two years of defeat. Then there’s things like Tom Cable and Mike Singletary-to name a few-crash and burn.
After playing a tough slate to open this year, starting with a Sunday match against the two-win Detroit Lions, the task will be easier shortly before the team’s 10th week goodbye. Slate is much harder to finish the season, including two games against Saints, two games against Bucks and one game at Kansas City.
How Morris’s Falcons will end this year tells how serious the candidates he will be in the off-season.