Former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris is trending again. Just as he was back in 2009, when he interviewed for a head coaching position with the Broncos before being named the new head coach of the Bucs two weeks later, Morris is a hot commodity.
The job he’s done with the Falcons receiving corps in his first year as a wide receivers coach after spending his entire career concentrating on the defensive side of the ball has thrust Morris back into the limelight and he could stay there well beyond the end of Super Bowl LI.
There is increasing talk in league circles that Morris may again be on the move, possibly to San Francisco, where Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will soon take over as head coach and where former Bucs safety John Lynch is already in place as general manager.
Shanahan and Morris worked together in Tampa under then Bucs coach Jon Gruden during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Morris as an assistant defensive backs coach and Shanahan as an offensive quality control coach, and Shanahan sure sounds as if he’d like to keep working with Morris.
“To get a coach who can relate to players better than anyone I’ve been around yet still always hold them accountable, is exactly the type of coach you want to work with,” Shanahan told Jason Reid of ESPN’s The Undefeated this week. “It’s what makes him special.’’
There’s just one problem. The Falcons are already spreading word that they’ll block Shanahan from taking any of his top assistants with him to San Francisco and Morris, who holds the dual title of assistant head coach, is one of those. That doesn’t mean Morris is stuck in Atlanta, though.
The Falcons are going to have to hire a new offensive coordinator and there’s a chance that new coordinator will want a wide receiver’s coach other than Morris, who probably isn’t in line for a promotion to the offensive coordinator’s post because of his lack of experience on that side of the ball.
That might prompt the Falcons to allow Morris the chance to rejoin Shanahan after all, especially if Shanahan’s intention is to make Morris his defensive coordinator. If not, Morris could still wind up making a move back to the defensive side of the ball in Atlanta.
He first came to the Falcons as a defensive backs coach by current head coach Dan Quinn, so a bit of a tug of war for Morris’s services could ensue here sometime soon and no one should be surprised if it doesn’t continue beyond this season.
After all, Morris has once again established himself as one of the league’s up and coming coaches and he’s done it in a very unique way, coaching up one of the most lethal commodities on the most potent offenses in the league.
Coaches like that don’t stay in lower-level positions for long.