Raheem Morris Sees Michael Jordan’s Leadership Qualities in a Few Falcons

Matt Ryan Julio Jones

Getty Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons speaks with Julio Jones #11.

ESPN’s documentary on Michael Jordan “The Last Dance,” has been the most exciting part of the week to most sports fans. Viewers get to take a walk through MJ’s life and see how he earned his respect as one of the best players and leaders in sports history.

Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris told Falcons reporter Will McFadden that he actually believes some of the players on the Falcons roster share similar qualities.

“We’ve got a few guys on our team that have some of those qualities,” Morris said. “Julio [Jones], in his own way. Matt Ryan, in his own way. Debo [Deion Jones], in his own way. Grady [Jarrett], in his own way. So, when they watch [The Last Dance] as a leader [they see] how to pull a person along, how to bring them along, how to get people to a different level.”

It’s quite the compliment to be compared to MJ in any form, but leadership is huge when it comes to sports.

A New Perspective

Having watched The Last Dance, Morris has gained a new perspective on Michael Jordan. Growing up, Morris wasn’t a fan of the guy always winning (MJ) so he cheered for the other guy. But after realizing who MJ really is an how he became legendary, he changed his thinking.

“I was always kind of one to go against the Bulls a little bit and cheer for the [New York] Knicks in those days and some of the other guys that were losing to them,” Morris said. “But, I realized watching the documentary, as I’m watching Michael Jordan play, I realized I spent half my life hating the guy that I really love the most.

“His competitive spirit, what he does, how he is with his teammates, it’s somehow what we always want our guys to do. We want them to be more demanding. With that comes a price at times, people say you could be considered as a bad teammate. With that comes a price at times, that you could be too hard on somebody or you could have a way about yourself that doesn’t come across the right way. … I think he was able to get the best out of his guys and himself, and it pushed everybody to excellence.”

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No Surprise There

The players that Morris rambled off doesn’t come by surprise since they’re the best not only on the field but off of the field as well.

Ryan and Jones are Atlanta’s captains while Deion and Jarrett are still on the rise but have made exceptional progress.

Falcons’ 23-year-old running back Craig Reynolds shared with Heavy.com what it’s like to play alongside and learn from NFL notables like Julio Jones and Matt Ryan.

“It’s pretty awesome. As I was going through high school and college seeing those guys play and then now being on the same team as them and watching those guys just work day in and day out at practice, Reynolds said. You see the time and the effort they put in, not only on the field but in the classroom. It’s great to watch and it’s a attest to see why they perform so well on Sundays.”

As a leader, if you share your success with your teammates in a way that Michael Jordan did then it doesn’t just make you better, it makes the entire team better. And that’s how teams win out when everyone is trying to make each other better.

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