The Los Angeles Rams had to pivot quickly when their 2020 defensive coordinator Brandon Staley was hired by the L.A. Chargers to be their head coach within 24 hours of their divisional round loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach Sean McVay and the Rams front office ultimately landed on Raheem Morris, who was the Atlanta Falcons interim head coach after they fired Dan Quinn in 2020.
Morris has been a head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Falcons, while also being a defensive coordinator in both places beforehand. He also spent some time with the Washington Football Team as a defensive backs coach, where he coached with McVay.
Clearly, Morris is more than qualified to be in this position, and he inherits one of the NFL’s best defenses with two of the best players in all of football in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
McVay had nothing but high praise for Morris when describing his talents and what he’ll bring to the Rams, according to Gary Klein of the L.A. Times:
“Not only is Raheem a great communicator, he is also an excellent teacher,” McVay said in a statement. “Raheem’s background coaching both offense and defense gives him a unique perspective which allows him to see the field from a 22-man perspective.”
Morris has proven himself time and time again to be a good defensive coach, despite working with some Falcons defenses that severely lacked talent. Now, he’ll have a chance to show what he can do when given an elite starting point.
Even still, the Rams have plenty of decisions to make in free agency this offseason. Leonard Floyd, Troy Hill, John Johnson III, Samsun Ebukam and Darious Williams are all free agents, and will either need to be brought back or replaced.
No matter what, McVay seems confident in Morris’ ability to work with whatever he is given and help the Rams maintain their elite defensive status in 2021.
Rams also lose Joe Barry to Chargers
Joe Barry, who spent four years as McVay’s assistant head coach and linebackers coach, is reportedly planning to join Staley on the Chargers as their defensive passing game coordinator and linebackers coach. It is not much of a promotion, but it will give Barry a fresh start under a new front office to work his way up the ranks.