The Atlanta Falcons are hiring Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as their next head coach, several reports said Thursday.
Morris, 47, beat out the likes of Bill Belichick for the job. Atlanta interviewed 14 candidates in all, including Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh (now with the Los Angeles Chargers) and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.
Earlier Thursday, the Falcons announced they had completed a second interview with Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik for the head-coaching role. Morris, Belichick and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero also had two interviews.
Morris had also interviewed with the Chargers, Panthers, Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks for their vacancies.
This will be Morris’ second turn as a full-time head coach. He spent 2009-11 in charge of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went 17-31 during his tenure.
Morris previously worked for Atlanta from 2015-20. He started out as the pass game coordinator, adding wide receivers coach to his job duties in 2016. He was promoted to defensive coordinator ahead of the 2020 season, and when the Falcons fired Dan Quinn after an 0-5 start, Morris was their interim head coach the rest of the way, helping them finish 4-12.
In three years as the Rams’ defensive coordinator, he led his unit to finish 17th, 19th and 20th in total defense in the league. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI during his tenure.
Belichick was viewed as a favorite for the job once he was given a second interview. It’s unclear now where the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach will land in 2024. The Commanders and Seahawks, the only teams with head-coaching vacancies remaining, have not interviewed Belichick.