Becker: Recent coaching hires a reminder ‘It’s time to move on’ from Belichick era

By Dan Becker

Raheem Morris has paid his dues to return as an NFL head coach. 

He was the head coach of the Tampa bay Buccaneers from 2009 to 2011. 

Morris won only 17 games in three seasons, which included a 10-6 record in 2010.  

He was fired after the 2011 season and has spent the last 12 years as an assistant head coach in the NFL.  

Morris was the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams the last three years, helping lead the Aaron Donald led defense to a Super Bowl title in 2021. 

Recently, Morris was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their head coach during this hiring cycle.   Many NFL insiders have questioned the hiring of Morris over former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick left the Patriots this offseason after over 20 years with the organization which included 6 Super Bowl titles. 

Although many predicated he would be hired and was considered a favorite for the Falcons opening, he was not hired for the position or any other opening during this cycle.

Belichick’s aggressive and authoritarian style was cited by many for reasons why he wasn’t hired. 

It may also be that the Patriots were not as successful under Belichick after Tom Brady’s departure following the 2019 season. 

New England went 29-38 since Brady’s departure, with one playoff berth. 

Last season, he also went against putting in quarterback Malik Cummingham who may have provide a spark, opting to go to either Mac Jones or Bailey Zapp, leading to a 4-13 record in 2023.

In 2020, Morris replaced fired head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons becoming the interim. 

Despite starting 0-5 he led the Falcons to 4-2 mark over the next six games. 

While with the Rams he led a stellar defense who would not have won the Super Bowl if not for his scheme against Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. 

Simply put, Morris was a better candidate for the hire. 

He is younger and has more upside. 

Many analysts and stories have been released criticizing and questioning the Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders for hiring younger minority candidates over Belichick. 

At a time when the NFL is looking to advance the cause of diversity and off the heels off its strongest minority hiring cycle in history, it’s time to let go of why a recycled white head coach was not hired. 

Instead, honor the journey that men such as Morris has taken to get their opportunity.  

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