1. We Meet Again: Raheem Morris arrives in Atlanta as the team's assistant head coach/defensive passing game coordinator, reuniting with one of his former coaches and colleagues from Hofstra, Dan Quinn. Morris played safety for Hofstra from 1994-97 and one year later began his collegiate coaching career as a Hofstra undergraduate assistant coach. Little did Morris know that his initial duties then, coaching the offensive scout team, developing scouting reports and handling video breakdown, would later lead to a reunion with Quinn in Atlanta.
2. Pick-Six Factor: Following three years as the Washington Redskins defensive backs coach, Morris takes his talents to the ATL to enhance the Falcons secondary. His coaching in 2012 helped Washington finish fourth in the NFC and tied for fifth in the NFL with 31 takeaways, surpassing its total of 21 from 2011. Morris' group scored two of the four defensive touchdowns. He oversaw a unit that tied a league-high in passes defensed (94) and ranked fifth in the NFC in interception rate (3.3 percent).
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris has been added to Dan Quinn's staff in Atlanta as assistant head coach and passing game coordinator
3. Unquestioned Resiliency: One season after being hired as the league's youngest head coach in 2009 by Tampa Bay, finishing 3-13, Morris showed resolve in inspiring his team to a 10-6 record, marking the best single-season turnaround in the NFL in 2010 and the largest turnaround in Buccaneers' history. The Falcons were disappointed with their 6-10 record in 2014 and believe Morris will help instruct and inspire Atlanta's secondary to deliver lockdown performances on a consistent basis.
4. Defensive Success in NFC South: Morris returns to the NFC South, where he's helped produce strong defensive stats in the past. During his 10 seasons with the Buccaneers, Morris helped Tampa Bay's defense thrive, including a handful of top-5 finishes in the NFL in total defense. Tampa Bay had the NFL's best defense twice with Morris on staff, 2002 and 2005. The Bucs finished as the top-ranked pass defense on three occasions (2002, 2004 and 2007) and seventh or better in seven of 10 seasons with Morris' help.
5. Super Bowl Cred: Morris' NFL coaching debut came in 2002, serving as the defensive quality control coach for the Buccaneers during the team's first championship in Super Bowl XXXVII. That season, the Buccaneers' defense allowed a league-low 12.3 points per game, the third-lowest average allowed by an NFL team since 2000. Look for Morris to steer the Falcons secondary in a way that produces similar defensive success in 2015 and beyond.