Rams Assistant Now ‘Intriguing Candidate’ for AFC South Team: Insider

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay talks through the headset on January 8, 2023 in Seattle.

Sean McVay already has to name a new offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. But could defensive coordinator be next?

Raheem Morris has had his name mentioned as a head coaching possibility for numerous jobs. But per The Athletic’s Indianapolis Colts insider Zak Keefer on Tuesday, January 17, Morris has emerged as an “intriguing candidate” for Indy after what was described as an interview that “went really well” back on Friday. From Keefer:

“The Colts’ interview with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris on Friday went really well. Morris is an intriguing candidate, a veteran coach who got his first shot at leading a team very early in his career — he was just 33 years old when he replaced Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay in 2009. But Morris was fired just three years later, after one winning season and a 17-31 record, and he has been working toward his second chance ever since.”

Now, Morris is 46 and is the owner of two Super Bowl rings with the Buccaneers in the 2002 season and with the Rams in 2021. Keefer included that the Colts’ current situation makes Morris even more of a rising contender for the open head coaching job.

“He’s also been thrust into difficult situations throughout his career, a little like this Colts’ job will be heading into the 2023 season. On top of replacing Gruden in Tampa Bay, Morris took over an 0-5 Atlanta team in 2020 as Dan Quinn was fired and in an interim role led the Falcons to a 4-7 record,” Keefer wrote. “His expertise has primarily been on the defensive side of the ball — Morris started off in this league as Monte Kiffin’s defensive backs coach — but he has also worked on offense, leading the Falcons’ receivers for three seasons during the Matt Ryan/Julio Jones era.”

Keefer adds how Morris “has proven to be versatile, watching early in the 2019 season back to defense and lifting a struggling Atlanta secondary into a far more consistent unit.”

Morris ‘Could Build’ a Strong Coaching Staff if Hired

Keefer threw in how if Morris is the guy to lead the Colts, there’s a good chance that a strong coaching staff would be built in Indy with some familiar names from the “Rams House.”

“A few names he might consider: Rams defensive line coach Eric Henderson for defensive coordinator and Rams passing game coordinator and QBs coach Zac Robinson for offensive coordinator,” Keefer said.

The downside on the Rams’ side would be McVay would have to not only find two new coordinators if Morris leaves, but would need to find a replacement for another popular member of the staff in “Hendo.” Robinson heading to Indy additionally means McVay needing to find an OC and quarterback guru.

But on Morris’ end, the Colts are sounding like one of his best chances at returning to being a head coach again. As it is, the Colts have had their most recent success with defensive minded coaches: Chuck Pagano who went 53-43 including advancing to the 2014 season AFC title game and Tony Dungy, who was the last head coach to lead the Colts to a Super Bowl championship.

Keefer adds Morris is soon to interview for the open Denver Broncos position.

Rams Offensive Assistant Completes Interview With Another AFC South Team

Morris wasn’t the only member of the Rams staff who interviewed for an AFC South head coaching gig.

Thomas Brown — who has served in a trio of roles from assistant coach, tight ends coach to handling the running backs — completed an interview with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, the franchise announced.

Brown, 36, interviewed for the Miami Dolphins opening after the 2021 season before the job went to Mike McDaniel. Brown is the second from the McVay tree to speak with the Texans. The other was former defensive assistant and current Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who also interviewed for the Texans’ position Tuesday.

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