The Las Vegas Raiders became the first team this season to fire their head coach. On Tuesday evening, the Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels as well as their GM and offensive coordinator. Over the past five years, the Los Angeles Rams have been known for developing future head coaches, notably Zac Taylor, Kevin O’Connell, and Brandon Staley. It’s fair to wonder whether or not the Raiders will look at the Rams for their next head coach.
With the Raiders needing a new head coach and a culture change, could they look at the Rams defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris?
Morris has been a popular name in the past few head coach hire cycles. Just last season he was a finalist for the Indianapolis Colts job before eventually getting beat out by Shane Steichen. While the Rams defense has been inconsistent, given the lack of overall talent, they have shown some good moments. With Morris’ reputation, it’s hard to see the Raiders not giving the Rams defensive coordinator some level of consideration.
The Athletic’s Tashan Reed who covers the Raiders listed Morris as one of 10 potential candidates. Here’s what Reed had to say,
“Morris helped the Rams beat Anarumo’s Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, and his resume is even stronger. He posted a 17-31 record in his three-year run as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach from 2009 to 2011, but he has redeemed himself and done more than enough to earn a second chance. The Rams defense has declined since its Super Bowl win, but it remains a solid group despite losing much of its personnel. The 47-year-old has experience calling both offensive and defensive plays, possesses an infectious personality and seems ready for another shot as a head coach.”
It will be interesting to see what type of coach the Raiders are looking for in their search. Following Jon Gruden and Josh McDaniels, it’s pretty clear that they need a change in culture. As a high character coach, Morris would fit that description. With that said, the Raiders are also typically a team that likes to make the “splashy” type of hire. That’s where Morris doesn’t really fit.
Following Gruden and McDaniels and likely having a top-5 pick with the chance to take a quarterback, the Raiders may be looking for an offensive head coach like Ben Johnson of the Detroit Lions. It wouldn’t be surprising if they also made a run at Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.
It’s also fair to wonder if Morris would consider the Raiders head coach position. While NFL head coaching jobs are highly coveted and limited. the Raiders job has generally been career suicide. Since 2011, the Raiders are now on their ninth head coach with Antonio Pierce taking over. Gruden is also the only coach to last longer than three seasons. Following a bad situation with the Tampa Bay Buccanners in his first head coaching job, Morris will want to be a head coach in the right situation and with good, strong ownership.
Morris will likely be considered for the Raiders job. However, the overall fit might not be what the Raiders or Morris are looking for moving forward.