When the Falcons decided to make Raheem Morris the team's new wide receivers coach, a lot of people in the football world were surprised. Morris unquestionably possesses a defensive mind. And as a safety during his playing days, he was a logical fit in his old role teaching Atlanta's defensive backs.
It was certainly an unconventional move. But it's one the team, and Morris himself, believes will pay major dividends.
"I don't think it matters what you coach; I think it's how you coach, the energy you bring, the communication skills, the ability to learn, the ability to use your brain to bring stuff to the table, how you bring it to the table," Morris said Wednesday.
"I think those are the only things that matter. You're either a teacher or you're not. … It's like being a math teacher and an English teacher. If you're a teacher, you can go out there and get the curriculum you need to teach."
The receivers appear to be happy with the change. According to Morris, Julio Jones and Co. have enjoyed hearing about defensive football, and they understand that viewing the game from a different point of view can make a big difference.
"Raheem, he came in, he brings that defensive mindset to the room because he sees things from a defensive perspective," Jones said. "Now he shows us how to attack defenses and what leverages we need to attack."
Though Morris had never worked on offense prior to this season, his three-year stint as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach gave him a chance to deal with that side of the ball on a day-to-day basis. And, as he explained Wednesday, the 39-year-old has always been "nosey", which has led him to constantly evaluate offense and all its complexities.
"I think what I can bring is myself. I bring energy, I bring passion, I bring core beliefs, I bring a value system that I've carried for a long time," he said. "I think my receivers like when I bring that energy, they want to follow that energy. … Those are some of the things we want to do. We want to bring a different set of energy to the game that we didn't bring before. And that's all you can ask for."