Falcons’ Morris doesn’t take a look at himself as an interim coach


ATLANTA (AP) — Raheem Morris would like that everybody avoid the “I” phrase.

Certain, he’s formally the interim head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, a caretaker position handed to him by a crew that fired Dan Quinn after dropping its first 5 video games.

However Morris refuses to take a look at himself in a short lived type of method.

“I don’t right you guys every single day as a result of I’m offended at anyone,” he stated Wednesday on a convention name with reporters. “In case you’re within the second of being an interim head coach, then you definitely’ll be an interim head coach. … I’m targeted on being the pinnacle coach of the Atlanta Falcons.”

Morris’ second probability at a high job is off to a promising begin. The Falcons lastly picked up their first win of the season, romping previous the Minnesota Vikings 40-23.

If Morris can conjure a couple of extra performances like that one out of his crew, he may earn critical consideration at preserving the job past this season.

The Falcons (1-5) will go for his or her second straight victory after they host the Detroit Lions (2-3) on Sunday.

“I’m being within the second of going 1-0 this week,” Morris stated.

He acquired his first head teaching gig extra a decade in the past, surprisingly taking up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at age 33 after Jon Gruden was fired.

Despite the fact that the Bucs posted a promising 10-6 mark in Morris’ second season, simply lacking the playoffs, he went 3-13 and 4-12 his different two years. He was fired after Tampa Bay ended 2011 with a 10-game dropping streak.

When he permits himself a reflective second, Morris is aware of he’s higher ready to deal with the job this time round.

He factors to all the pinnacle coaches he’s labored with over time, from Gruden to Quinn to Mike Shanahan. He brings up his longstanding relationship with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, “considered one of my higher pals in life.” He lists all the guy assistants who went on to change into head coaches, from Sean McVay to Kyle Shanahan to Matt LaFleur. He’s even offered recommendation to coaches-in-waiting resembling Eric Bieniemy, who might very effectively might be within the operating to take over the Falcons when the season is completed.

“I believe the event during the last couple of years has been actually helpful to me,” Morris stated. “It actually helped me.”

Whereas the 44-year-old Morris is hardly a brand new face — he was on Quinn’s employees from the start in 2015 — and many of the Falcons assistants stay the identical, there’s an try to vary the mindset of a crew that turned the primary in NFL historical past to lose back-to-back video games when main by a minimum of 15 factors within the fourth quarter.

“After we exit to apply, I need to make the sport come to life,” Morris stated. “All the things we do has to simulate a game-like ambiance.”

When a participant messes up, he can anticipate to get referred to as out.

Proper on the spot.

“I need to make them uncomfortable,” he stated. “I would like them getting used to that. Issues are going to occur within the recreation. You’re going to get drained, issues aren’t going to go your method, the opposite crew goes to attain a landing. You need to bounce again, get snug being uncomfortable, and discover a technique to pressure your will on the opponent.”

It labored in Morris’ first recreation. It stays to be seen if the Falcons can keep that type of urgency on a constant foundation, particularly when enjoying higher groups than the one-win Vikings.

“Raheem is a man who connects with everyone, for positive,” quarterback Matt Ryan stated. “He’s blunt, matter of reality, and will get to the purpose. That’s his persona kind, that’s his fashion. You’ve acquired to purchase into what the pinnacle coach is preaching.”

Morris is definitely a protracted shot to maintain the job past this season. The Falcons are seemingly trying to make a clear break from the earlier regime, having additionally fired long-time basic supervisor Thomas Dimitroff.

Clearly joking however with a component of reality, proprietor Arthur Clean set a fairly excessive bar for Morris to have any probability of being thought of within the teaching search.

“If Raheem finally ends up 11-0,” Clean stated with a sly smile, “he’ll definitely be a candidate.”

Morris’ first win as the pinnacle coach — don’t say interim — merely left him hungry for extra. He didn’t even take time to savor a recreation ball the gamers introduced to him after beating the Vikings.

“You hate taking a look at it till you will get one other one,” he stated. “You develop and search for the following second.”


Observe Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963. His work could be discovered at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry


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