Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris helped put on a clinic on defense in the 51-14 trouncing of the Denver Broncos on Christmas Day, in their most dominating performance this season following six sacks and forcing four turnovers.
But could that outing may persuade the Broncos to make a run at the Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator?
Following the 37-point stomping, Denver officially announced that head coach Nathaniel Hackett has been fired on Monday, December 26. Hackett only lasted 15 games and will not finish out his first season as a head coach.
Now, numerous names have surfaced for the Broncos’ opening. But could Morris surface in the Rocky Mountains?
Fans Ask or Hope for Morris
NFL insider for CBS Sports Josina Anderson revealed some early initial names for the now vacant Broncos head coaching position.
While Morris isn’t on her first list, his name has still floated around as a potential possibility for Denver. One Broncos fan placed Morris’ name on the “hopeful” list of head coaching candidates.
Another fan gave this prediction for Morris and Denver:
One more Broncos fan named Tyler Hess hopes to see Denver pivot to a former head coach — and mentioned Morris as one of his options.
“But I’m hoping we get either Frank Reich, Sean Payton, Byron Leftwich, Kirby Smart, Dan Quinn, Raheem Morris, Brian Callahan, Leslie Frazier, Eric Bieniemy, or Don Martindale. I don’t want anybody that isn’t a proven coach or had lots of experience,” Hess said on Twitter.
Is Morris Ready for Another Crack at Head Coaching?
Morris, 46, is more than a decade removed from his head coaching stop with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he went 17-31 overall. His best season was the 10-6 campaign of 2010, but still missed the playoffs.
But his last time being a head coach was on an interim basis with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 where he went 4-7 following Dan Quinn being dismissed as head coach.
While Morris may have a 21-38 record as head coach, he’s still garnered enough praise and love from some of his players. One of his most ardent supporters is perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who fiercely defended Morris following the Rams’ final seconds loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8.
“‘Rah’ is fire. I’m telling you, ‘Rah’ is fire. People have no clue that ‘Rah’ is fire, for real for real,” Ramsey vehemently said to the L.A. media on November 11.
Ramsey included how Morris being a Ram and not a head coach is a blessing for him and his team, saying “The fact that he’s not a head coach somewhere is a blessing for us. ‘Rah’ is the real f****** deal. I’m not lying to you. I’m passionate about that s***” while also detailing how Morris allows the Rams to play freely on the field and how he’s “expanded our game to be better than we have in the past.”
And outside of Ramsey, Morris’ teachings have given former seventh round safety Nick Scott a career-best season with 80 tackles through 15 games. He’s gotten Troy Hill to better his totals from tackles to interceptions from his 2021 season with the Cleveland Browns. Lastly, rookie Decobie Durant went from fourth rounder to delivering his first two-interception outing including the pick six to solidify the Christmas rout.
Despite injuries to Aaron Donald and 2021 safety captain Jordan Fuller, the Rams defense has kept games close for most of the year through Morris: With 10 of their games decided by less than a margin of two touchdowns.
With Morris having an area of expertise in defensive backs, he could appeal to a team that already has 2020 Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons under contract until 2025 plus has rising young cornerback Patrick Surtain II.