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Analysis: What the Raheem Morris hire tells us about the direction the Falcons want to go

Falcons looking to enhance the culture and philosophy already set, not diminish it. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Here's the thing: Nothing that you read in the next few paragraphs are notions that have been solidified or even spoken into existence by the men who ultimately made the decision to hire Raheem Morris as the Falcons next head coach. There will be an introductory press conference for that, now scheduled for Monday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

However, that doesn't mean that we can't ponder possible reasons why the Falcons chose Morris over the other candidates who were interviewed during one of the most intricate searches of this year's coaching cycle. Honestly, because we have another week to go until official statements and comments will be made about the hire, this is the best time to speculate.

So, here it goes.

The hiring of Morris says a lot but, at it's core, what this hire speaks into existence is the conviction owner Arthur Blank has about Terry Fontenot and the Falcons front office and -- in turn -- the conviction Fontenot and the front office have about the roster they have built up over the last three seasons.

Falcons leadership interviewed 14 candidates for the head coaching job. Of those 14 candidates, four got second interviews, rounding out the total interviews completed to 18. One for every day of the search itself (though the exact cadence didn't work that way).

The Falcons interviewed some of the biggest names nationally, some rising stars and some of the best available names in the business. In one case in particular, they were interviewing history itself in Bill Belichick. In the end, the Falcons decided to hand the keys to someone they're familiar with, someone they respect and trust. They decided to hire Morris, who has already spent six seasons in Atlanta during of his two decades as an NFL coach.

In hindsight, perhaps the Falcons were telling us something with their pick. Perhaps the hiring of Morris shows those looking in from the outside that the Falcons were not looking to change their philosophy or overall culture. They were looking to enhance the philosophy and culture they've already set. That's what Morris does for the organization.

If the Falcons wanted to blow everything up, they surely could have. Nothing was stopping them from hiring someone who wanted to fundamentally change the philosophy, culture, personnel, etc.

The thing is, though, that the Falcons do not feel that they have to do that to be successful. They feel like they are close, so close -- in fact -- that maybe a quarterback changes things for this team in 2024.

Let's use a metaphor, shall we? The Falcons didn't need to total the car. They needed spruce it up. The individual gears of the car are working. The fundamental pieces of its function keep it moving. They needed someone else behind the wheel to take it into the shop for a tune-up, and someone who can lead it down more stable roads.

Roads, the Falcons hope, with more scenic (and successful) views.

Ahead of his arrival in Atlanta, we take a look back at Raheem Morris' previous tenure with the Falcons.

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