Dante Fowler: Interim Coach Made Falcons ‘Uncomfortable,’ but in a Good Way

Raheem Morris

Getty Former head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010.

Friday marks the Atlanta Falcons’ first full week of practice under new interim head coach Raheem Morris.

The Falcons moved on from Dan Quinn and former general manager Thomas Dimitroff after the Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers, which left the Falcons sitting with an 0-5 start.

Morris isn’t a stranger to these players now as he just shifts from defensive coordinator to the top spot.

The players appear to be feeling the fire and energy from Morris, who will look to help the team get its first win on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Falcons edge rusher Dante Fowler even said Morris’s spark has made them uncomfortable but in a good way.

“Raheem’s just doing it his way a little bit, adding his spice little spice to it and things like that,” Fowler said via Falcons’ official website. “But it hasn’t really been different. If anything, just the intensity has ramped up a little bit more. Raheem is just kind of making us a little bit uncomfortable and making us be able to practice really well in practice. So, Sunday we won’t be new to anything.”

Morris Faces Tough Task

Whether Morris could remain the head coach beyond the remainder of this season is a looming question, but it does appear to at least be on the table – possibly.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank told the media earlier this week that Morris could be a potential candidate for the vacant position … he goes 11-0. Blank also pointed out how he’s never had an interim coach this early in the season…

“Absolutely,” Blank said via Falcons’ official website. “If Raheem ends up 11-0, he’s going to be certainly a candidate. I mean, that’s what his aspiration is. I do think, and I said this to him – it’s nothing to do with the timing or whatever, but we were chatting – I said often, my experience with interim head coaches has been no more than three games. Once when Dan Reeves left earlier and then, as Rich mentioned, when Bobby Petrino left. So, it was only a matter of three games. This, I think, is unusual, 11 games to go.”

Obviously, from what players are saying, Morris is up to the challenge.

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Week-By-Week Approach

Morris’ approach to getting the Falcons to win is by taking a week-by-week approach and looking for a 1-0 record in every game instead of evaluating the bigger picture.

While he’s making his team ‘uncomfortable’ he’s still considered a player’s coach and is doing it in their best interest, as Fowler detailed on the team’s official website.

“Coaching us up, kind of getting in our grills a little bit,” Fowler also said. “Just bringing an intensity to practice, firing us up. Getting us mad at him, because we don’t have an opponent during the week so he’s making us take it out on him so that on Sunday we’ll be ready to take it out on those guys. We’ll be mentally and physically ready.”

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