“It was a great interview,” Morris said. “I had a chance to sit down with (owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank and some of the people at the top, (president) Rich McKay and some others. Had a lot of fun with that. That time is over with. Now, we play the waiting game. We’ll see how it goes and see what the decision-makers say.”
Morris, 44, was previously Tampa Bay’s head coach from 2009 to 2011. He was 32 when he landed that job. He’s hoping to land the Falcons’ job.
“It went well,” Morris said of the interview. “It was fair. It was long. It was definitely appreciated. I’m definitely vested into the Falcons family. I’m in that way and I appreciate those guys.”
Morris didn’t hesitate when asked if he wanted to be the head coach.
“There is no doubt,” Morris said. “I love this football team. I love this city. I love this organization. I love the owner. I love these players.”
The Falcons contend they are not that far away from being a winning football team. Seven of their losses were by six points on less. The two score losses were to playoff-bound teams: Seahawks, Packers, Saints and the Bucs.
“They’ve been battle tested,” Morris said. “They’ve played against a bunch of really (good) playoff-bound teams the last couple of weeks. They fought and have not been able to get the wins. They are that close. We’ve got to find a way to get over the (hump). If we are able to get to this point, be in this spot again next year, we will find a way.”
The Falcons struggled to run the ball and rush the passer in 2020. Also, quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked 41 times.
“We have to be able to run the ball more consistently,” Morris said. “We have to find a way to get after the quarterback with our four-man rush. If we can do some of those teams, we’re going to be the team to beat. We’re going to be the team to deal with moving forward.”
“Not really interested in that,” Morris said. “He’ll come up and have his own opinions. Whoever that is, those guys I’m sure are going to pick a great evaluator. They are going to pick a great guy with people. They are going to pick a great guy that’s a part of our family and our core values and look forward to seeing what that looks like.”
Morris is expected to be a candidate for other jobs.
“Whether if it’s here or somewhere else, he’s going to be a head coach in this league,” Ryan said. “There’s no doubt about it. He’s a good football coach and I trust our front office to go out there and find the best person for our organization. We’ll see what happens, but I’ve loved Raheem his entire time here.”
Ryan is willing to provide his input, if asked.
“No, I think it’s in their hands to make a decision to go through a process to find the best person for our organization when it comes to head coach and GM,” Ryan said. “They know where I’m at if they need me. I’m obviously available and willing to give my input — and I’ve done that with them consistently throughout my career. So, they know how I feel, but it’s definitely on them.”
In addition to Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and N.Y. Jets have head coach openings. The Jets fired Adam Gase Sunday Night. There may be more dismissals Monday.
“All of things will be out tomorrow,” Morris said. “Obviously, you guys will have a bunch of fun with Black Monday. That’s always fun for media people, not so much for coaches. We sit around, we’re waiting and we will figure those things out and figure out what we’re going to do with our families and be able to do an interview if we can.”
D. Orlando Ledbetter, Esq is the award-winning Atlanta Falcons beat writer for the newspaper, has been on the staff since 2003. Every day D. Orlando strives to provide inside in the Falcons and the NFL. He finds the most joy in providing insight into the team, the coaching moves, the offseason business moves, the draft and the games.