Rams News: Raheem Morris Believes He’s Ready For Head Coaching Opportunity But Not Focused On It
Raheem Morris, Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has been on a remarkable and winding journey as an NFL coach. He was just 32 years old when he was hired as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers way back in 2009, after only six seasons of NFL coaching experience and two seasons as a defensive coordinator.

Morris lasted three seasons before being fired, effectively resetting his NFL coaching journey. He jumped to being a defensive backs coach, then a passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Atlanta Falcons before being given the defensive coordinator role back. He was then named the interim head coach of the Falcons in 2020.

But when the team chose not to hire him as the full time coach at the end of the season, he landed with the Rams, where he has spent the last three seasons managing an ever-changing defense as the defensive coordinator. With his resume and experiences, Morris’ name might come up in head coaching cycles for years to come, even if he doesn’t ever return to the top seat.

But Morris isn’t too concerned with whether or not his name is being floated for head coaching positions. His time in the league has taught him to control what he can control, and if an opportunity arises, then so be it.

“You really don’t. That’s not what I’m in the business of doing,” Morris said. “I know that’s fun for all the media people but at the same time, it’s a privilege to be a head coach in the National Football League and when you get those opportunities to sit down and talk with any of the 32 owners at any time is always something that you can be proud of, or the moment that you have a chance to lead an organization.

“But to be honest, I really don’t think about it. You can’t say that you don’t hear it because everybody and all my friends that talk to me about you (laughter) want to talk about it and those things and it’s popular to talk about and it’s definitely an honor. I’m very grateful that you guys think so highly of me, particularly you (reporter) Gary with that nice article you wrote that I couldn’t read because I had to pay a dollar for it (laughter). I didn’t pay that dollar either. I was like, no chance I’m paying to read Gary Klein’s article. I will just ask him what he said.

“Just that time of year, it’s just what happens. For me it’s kind of always bittersweet. You hate to see guys get fired. You hate to see guys get moved on from. You hate to see those openings, but they are opportunities for other people. When those opportunities present themselves, I just have to be ready to present myself in the best version. But to say you are preparing or you are doing anything that you would do differently other than trying to win the next football game, I’d be lying to you.”

However, when asked if he’d be ready for another head coaching opportunity, Morris spoke about the strides he’s made as a coach in just the past few seasons working in the Rams organization.

“You know, I feel like I have grown,” Morris said. “I have gotten better being here with everybody. With being around Sean McVay, being around (General Manager) Les (Snead), being around this building, being within this organization and how we do things. I really love it. I love how we’ve handled adversity. I love being able to be around the local media and what you guys do.

“I think all of those things are part of getting ready in order to prepare yourself to be a head coach. I’d be not telling you the truth if I didn’t think I was going to be better than I was the first time when I was 32 years old taking over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the interim coach mid-season in Atlanta. I look forward to those challenges and when those things present themselves, I’ll be ready. But as of right now, really worried about the Saints.”

Whether Morris is the defensive coordinator for the Rams, another team or if he’s received a head coaching gig, the veteran appears ready for any challenge that comes his way. That’s the type of focus and confidence that comes with years of being cycled through different roles and different teams.

Sean McVay takes blame for red zone woes

Despite the win against the Washington Commanders, there were some things to clean up for L.A. On offense, the team struggled in the red zone, finding pay dirt in just one of three attempts in goal-to-go situations.

The last couple weeks have been a struggle in that department, and head coach Sean McVay took the blame for his play-calling.