49ers’ Kyle Shanahan lavishes praise on Falcons new HC Raheem Morris: “One of the best”

The Atlanta Falcons’ 2023 NFL season has been marked by disappointment only. They failed to maintain their winning streak and succumbed to poor defeats. After concluding the season with a 7-10 record, the team sacked head coach Arthur Smith. Following his firing, several veterans including former Pats coach Bill Belichick, were rumored to be the next HC of the franchise.

Amid much speculation, the Falcons officially named Raheem Morris their new HC on Thursday. While the news sparked mixed reactions from fans, the San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan thinks the team nailed its choice.

Kyle Shanahan hails Raheem Morris

Kyle Shanahan has had the privilege of working alongside Morris at various points in their coaching careers. He expressed his admiration for Morris’s coaching prowess and leadership qualities, as the latter has been announced as the Falcons new HC.

Reflecting on their time together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, and Falcons, Shanahan lauded Morris’s versatility and adaptability.

“Oh, it’s way past due. Raheem’s one of the best coaches I’ve been with. I got to work with him earlier in my career in Tampa. When I was young I was trying to get my dad to hire him as a D-Coordinator. He ended up becoming a head coach so fast. Then I got a chance to work with him in Washington. Then Atlanta, he actually was on defense. He got to come work with me on offense for a year”, he said.

Shanahan also highlighted the Falcons’ new HC’s seamless transition from defense to offense during their tenure in Atlanta. He lauded Morris’ contributions to their offensive unit despite his background primarily in defensive coaching.

“The fact that he was on defense his whole career and can came to be our receiver coach, it was unbelievable how cool he was. How good he did. Always tried to get him here every single year. But Raheem’s been one of the best. He’s going to hell of an organization, a good situation with good people. I’m really happy for Atlanta that they got him and more than happy for Raheem.”

Raheem Morris’s journey with the Falcons began as an interim head coach following the departure of Dan Quinn during the 2020 season. Despite taking over at a challenging situation, he showcased his leadership acumen by steering the team to a commendable 4-7 record during his interim tenure.

Raheem Morris coaching history

Raheem Morris’s coaching journey began with the Buccaneers, where he served in various capacities before steadily climbing the coaching ladder. Starting as a defensive quality control coach in 2002, he swiftly ascended. The veteran later assumed roles such as defensive assistant and assistant defensive backs coach. By 2006, he had honed his skills enough to take on the role of defensive coordinator at Kansas State before returning to the Bucs in 2007.

In 2009, Morris seized the opportunity to lead as he was appointed head coach of the Bucs. Though his tenure spanned three years, his impact resonated beyond wins and losses. Following his stint in Tampa Bay, the veteran embarked on a journey that led him to the Washington Redskins. He served as the defensive backs coach for the team for three years.

Raheem Morris
Sports Illustrated

In 2015, Raheem Morris found a new home with the Falcons, initially assuming the role of assistant head coach and pass game coordinator. Over the years, he continued to evolve within the organization. He took on additional responsibilities such as wide receivers’ coach.

The turning moment came in 2020 when Morris was promoted to defensive coordinator and later became the interim head coach for the Falcons. This interim role allowed him to showcase his leadership abilities and solidify his position as a front-runner for the head coaching position. Now, he finally got his deserved spot as the HC of the Falcons.

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