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Rams hire Raheem Morris as defensive coordinator

Morris is back with Sean McVay

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As was rumored on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Rams are hiring Raheem Morris to be their next defensive coordinator. Morris previously spent time with Sean McVay in Tampa Bay and Washington and the two are reunited as the Rams sought to replace Brandon Staley after he led LA to a number one ranking on defense in his only season on the job.

McVay told reporters on Thursday that he likes the fact that Morris has experience with both sides of the ball, having coached receivers for several years with the Falcons.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Raheem and what he will bring to the Rams organization,” Rams coach Sean McVay said in a statement. “Not only is Raheem a great communicator, he is also an excellent teacher. 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 spent the last six years with the Atlanta Falcons, though he didn’t officially take the “defensive coordinator” title until head coach Dan Quinn relinquished those duties in 2020. Quinn was fired after an 0-5 start and Morris led the Falcons to a 4-7 record as interim head coach, with Jeff Ulbrich being promoted to defensive coordinator.

Here’s what we wrote about Morris on Tuesday:

Morris, 44, worked under Jon Gruden and alongside Sean McVay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the mid-aughts. He never served as an NFL defensive coordinator prior to being promoted by the Bucs to become head coach in 2009, when he was only 33 years old. The Bucs went 3-13 in his first season, then 10-6 in his second but missing the playoffs.

Morris was fired after Tampa Bay went 4-12 in 2011.

He returned to the Mike Shanahan tree, working for Washington from 2012-2014, then was hired by Dan Quinn to be an assistant head coach with the Falcons in 2015. Morris spent five and a half seasons under Quinn, until he was promoted to interim head coach in 2020 after Quinn was fired following a 0-5 start.

Morris led the team to a 4-7 record, ranking 29th in yards allowed and 19th in points allowed.

If hired by the Rams, which makes sense given his long history with Sean McVay, he’ll be taking over the number one defense by points and yards allowed in 2020.