When the Falcons hired Raheem Morris, most fans’ immediate thoughts went to who the offensive coordinator hire was going to be.
Shortly after news broke of Morris’ hiring, there was speculation that Rams quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator Zac Robinson would follow him from Los Angeles to Atlanta.
Eventually, it was announced that Robinson would be the Falcons offensive coordinator. A couple of days later, it was reported that Raheem Morris would be keeping Marquice Williams from Arthur Smith’s staff to continue as special teams coordinator.
Then, in the final coordinator hire, Morris surprised many by bringing Jimmy Lake aboard. Robinson was the hottest offensive coordinator candidate of the hiring cycle, and Williams is regarded as one of the better special teams coordinators while Lake was relatively unknown.
Like many of his acquisitions to the coaching staff, Morris’ relationship with Lake was a driving factor. The pair have coached together three different times before. Morris and Lake first coached together in Tampa Bay where both experienced promotions. Morris from defensive coordinator to head coach and Lake from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator.
Then for the next decade, Lake had several stops at the collegiate level, including as head coach of the Washington Huskies. Eventually, he returned to the NFL, joining Sean McVay’s Rams staff.
Jimmy Lake has plenty of experience but after a blockbuster offensive coordinator hire, the defensive coordinator was a bit underwhelming. However, it’s clearly not shaken Raheem Morris’ faith in his old friend because, during his opening press conference, the new Falcons head coach announced that Lake would be calling defensive plays.
Raheem Morris said defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will call plays for Atlanta's defense.
Morris wants to take on the totality of the head coaching role.
— Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) February 5, 2024
Photographer: Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire