Falcons hire Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as head coach

FILE - Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris during an NFL football game.

The Rams coaching staff is undergoing another major turnover.

Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced Thursday.

Morris, 47, has previous head-coaching experience with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009-2011 and as interim coach of the Falcons for 11 games in 2020. He has a 24-38 record as a head coach.

Former Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, now with the Miami Dolphins, was happy for Morris.

"Falcons got one of, if not the best coach in the NFL forreal!" Ramsey tweeted.

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Morris, who succeeded Brandon Staley as Rams defensive coordinator in 2021, interviewed with the Falcons, Chargers, Washington Commanders, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

Rams coach Sean McVay, general manager Les Snead and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff publicly endorsed Morris during the interview process.

“The Atlanta Falcons, an organization and owner that mean a lot to me personally, are fortunate to have hired Raheem Morris to lead their football team," Snead said in a statement. "He is one of few exceptional leaders that has coached both sides of the ball with some of the the game’s most respected minds at the professional and collegiate levels."

In 2021, Morris coached a defense that helped the Rams win Super Bowl LVI. The Rams went 5-12 in 2022, but they rebounded this past season and exceeded expectations by finishing 10-7. Their season ended with a 25-24 loss to the Detroit Lions in an NFC wild-card game.

Morris is the second member of McVay’s staff to depart for another opportunity. Defensive line coach Eric Henderson left to become USC’s co-defensive coordinator.

“Raheem has a charisma, presence, and ability to communicate and connect with players and coaches that’s truly unmatched," McVay said in a statement. "He epitomizes great leadership through the ways he elevates everyone around him and makes every environment he’s a part of better. Atlanta hired an incredibly special coach, but an even more exceptional person who will lead the right way.”

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It remains to be seen how the absence of Morris and Henderson will affect defensive lineman Aaron’s Donald’s future.

Donald, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, hinted at retirement after the 2021 season. He said after the loss to the Lions that he would return next season when he will carry a salary-cap number of $34.2 million, according to

McVay, preparing for his eighth season with the Rams, will now be paired with a fourth defensive coordinator.

Wade Phillips oversaw the defense from 2017 to 2019. Staley directed the defense for only season before he was hired by the Chargers as head coach, opening the door for Morris, who had coached previously with McVay in Tampa Bay and in Washington.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.