Rams’ Raheem Morris Reacts to Reuniting With Player he Once Cut

Raheem Morris

Getty Raheem Morris of the Rams

For Takkarist McKinley, joining the Los Angeles Rams is much more than a City of Angels full circle moment for the past UCLA Bruins star.

It’s also much more than just the 26-year-old trying to salvage a career that has seen others label him a first round bust — as he’s yet to hit the double-digit sack mark and has dealt with a ruptured Achilles tendon recently. For the 6-foot-2, 265-pounder, this Rams opportunity presents one more moment for him:

Getting reacquainted with the head coach who once cut him from the Atlanta Falcons.

Raheem Morris spoke out for the first time since the Wednesday, September 21 signing to bring McKinley over via the Tennessee Titans practice squad. The second-year Rams defensive coordinator revealed where things once were between he and “Takk,” shared what that moment was like in releasing the former No. 26 overall pick and lastly, how their relationship has been since that Atlanta departure.

‘Rocky…& Good’

One of the first questions asked to Morris in his media session on Thursday, September 22 involved the defensive end he once coached on an interim basis.

“My background with Takk has been both rocky and good, whatever place he’s been,” Morris said.

The decision to part ways with McKinley came on November 9, 2020 — in the aftermath of McKinley posting a barrage of tweets that blasted the Falcons with the hope he would be traded. McKinley was eventually fined for his social media outburst according to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal.

Since his departure, McKinley has had brief pit stops with the Cleveland Browns and most recently the Titans. The former was where he lasted just one season and started in only two games.

But even with McKinley changing area codes, the man who helped cut him still found a way to stay in touch with him.

“Obviously I had to cut Takk in Atlanta, for various different reasons in Atlanta. Being the head coach at the time when it happened, we obviously had our differences in opinion and things of that nature,” Morris said. “But we’ve always remained fairly close, just even last year and years ago. I’ve always been able to talk to him about his personal life, always been able to talk to him about his children, being a father, some of those things that made us close.”

VideoVideo related to rams’ raheem morris reacts to reuniting with player he once cut2022-09-22T20:21:22-04:00

How Takk Can Fit Inside the ‘Rams House’

McKinley comes in during a time Leonard Floyd is dealing with a knee injury, though Floyd was seen going through drills with a special sleeve fit over that injured ailment.

Perhaps Aaron Donald will get some extra new help in the form of McKinley. And Thursday marked the first time McKinley got the chance to wear the Rams’ practice uniform.

“I haven’t really seen nothing yet. But I’ve heard some good things about him and what he can bring,” Donald told reporters Thursday. “So just excited to obviously see him practice and if he gets some opportunities to see him in the game, then watch to see what he can bring.”

VideoVideo related to rams’ raheem morris reacts to reuniting with player he once cut2022-09-22T20:21:22-04:00

Meanwhile, Morris smiled at the fact that he gets one new opportunity to work with McKinley — priding himself on being invested in his players regardless of how they worked out in the past.

“We always want to have a chance to give people second chances,” Morris said. “He’s a guy who can help us in the pass rush and he’s a guy that I think deserves a second chance. And hopefully he can come in and do some really good things for us.

“I completely and totally invest myself in the players I coach and the players that I deal with, no matter how the result is and how it plays out,” Morris continued. “I pride myself in that ability to be able to do that.”

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x