How Raheem Morris can aid the Falcons QB search

NFL: JAN 23 NFC Divisional Round Rams at Buccaneers

Despite recent disappointment from the QB position over the last few seasons in Atlanta, Raheem Morris is the right man to lead the search for a new franchise signal-caller for the Falcons.

“If we had better quarterback play last year, I might not be standing here.” That quote came from the new club’s head coach earlier this week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

As bluntly as it was put, the transparency is appreciated. Arthur Smith’s head may have been the one that rolled at the end of the season, but the single biggest factor holding the Falcons back was play at the most important position in the sport. The QB circle of Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke, and Marcus Mariota was an obstacle no coach could have overcome.

Now, this new regime, led by Raheem Morris, must find the next franchise QB, and there are several reasons to be confident he can help get the Falcons out of dreaded QB purgatory.

Raheem Morris’ Experience Around Offensive Head Coaches

One of the only ways that a coach can become great in the NFL is if they spend time around other brilliant minds, and few people have spent more time around elite offensive coaches than Raheem Morris, despite his defensive background.

Starting back in 2002, Morris got his start in the NFL as a defensive quality control coach in Tampa Bay under Jon Gruden. The Buccaneers would go on to win the Super Bowl that year after a 12-win regular season.

From 2012 to 2014, Morris spent time working as a DBs coach in Washington. During his time there, he worked with Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur, and Sean McVay. That’s an All-Star staff of offensive coaches that have completely taken over the league over the last decade.

During Morris’ first stint in Atlanta as both an offensive and defensive assistant that ran from 2015 to 2020, he was reunited with Kyle Shanahan and LaFleur. At one point, the Falcons had the best offense in the league with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones running the show.

In his latest stop with the L.A. Rams from 2021 to 2023 as a defensive coordinator, Morris was reunited with Sean McVay. The team won the Super Bowl in 2021 thanks to McVay’s offensive brilliance and elite quarterback play from Matthew Stafford.

Raheem Morris Facing Great QBs in Practice Everyday

Those aforementioned stops all gave Morris the experience of seeing elite QB play up close. In Tampa Bay, he went up against Pro Bowl signal-caller Brad Johnson for three years in practice. In Washington, Morris’ defenses faced off against the likes of Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. While coaching for the Falcons, not only was Atlanta’s offense one of the greatest ever, but the QB room was filled with experience and high football IQs thanks to Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub. Finally, Matthew Stafford in L.A. was perhaps the best quarterback that Morris has ever spent time around.

Morris knows what it takes to be an elite quarterback in the National Football League. He has witnessed all the necessary qualities of elite signal callers up close. Whether it was the mobility and athleticism of RG3, the arm strength and leadership of Ryan and Cousins, or the pocket presence and clutch gene from Brad Johnson and Matt Stafford, Morris has seen it all.

Atlanta’s Young Talent Should Help Out the Next QB

Whether or not the Falcons trade for a QB like Justin Fields or use the No. 8 pick on a quarterback like Jayden Daniels, they will have no shortage of offensive weapons.

As a rookie last season, Robinson had 1,400 scrimmage yards and eight total touchdowns. As a rookie in 2022, Allgeier rushed for over 1,000 yards despite starting in just seven games. Drake London is still just 22 years of age and is coming off of his first 1,000-yard receiving season. Kyle Pitts was a Pro-Bowler as a rookie back in 2021 after recording 1,026 receiving yards. He joined Mike Ditka as the only other tight end to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie. That’s the kind of skill position group that offensive coordinators and QBs dream about, and it should only improve this offseason after the NFL Draft and free agency.

The Falcons were one of the most attractive job openings of this year’s hiring cycle because of all the pieces in place on offense. All they need is a new signal caller, and with Morris’ experience and relationships around the league, he should be able to find the right guy to lead his team in 2024.

Photo: Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire

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