When the Atlanta Falcons returned from their bye week, coach Dan Quinn announced a few coaching moves.
Quinn told the team assistant head coach and former wide receivers coach, Raheem Morris, would be switching back to the defensive side of the ball. Dave Brock, previously the running bcks coach, is taking over as wide receivers coach. Bernie Parmalee will take Brock's spot as the running backs coach.
With so many of Atlanta's defensive breakdowns this season stemming from communication and technique issues in the secondary, Quinn felt he needed to make a change.
"Part of his strengths are communication in the secondary and we felt that was a spot that needed our attention at this space," Quinn said. "For us, it was all hands on deck, but you can imagine that's one of [Raheem Morris's] many powers, his ability to communicate, and we wanted to make sure from the technique side, he'd bring fresh eyes over to the secondary and the communication space. That's what we wanted to do."
The move doesn't come as much of a surprise given Morris' background as a defensive backs coach. When he arrived in Atlanta in 2015, Morris was in charge of the defensive backs in addition to his duties as assistant head coach.
Prior to his time with the Falcons, Morris served as the defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins (2012-14) after his stint as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-11).
The Falcons rank at the bottom of the league in points per game, allowing 31.3 points a game (No. 30). Atlanta has also struggled to generate turnovers on defense, especially in the air. The Falcons are tied for last in the league in interceptions with two.
Ricardo Allen believes the coaching change will provide a spark for the unit.
"Us, as a defensive back group, we're looking for anything that can help, Allen said. "I just want to win. If it helps us and it helps everywhere, I'm all for it."
Allen points to Morris's direct approach with players and his knowledge of offense after spending three seasons as the wide receivers' coach as the main reason he feels the move could result in positive change.
"He's a straight shooter," Allen said. "You will know exactly your accountability to the play and your accountability to your brother. He's a great teacher, he understands the ins and outs on both sides. That's why it makes it so easy to transition to offense and now he's bringing back the offensive knowledge back to us to help us out a little more."
Rookie cornerback Jordan Miller spent time working with Morris after practice on Monday.
When asked about his impressions of working with Morris for the first time, Miller said he appreciates Morris' ability to be candid and his energy as reasons he's excited about working closely with him.
"I like it because I'm a high-energy guy," Miller said. "He's going to say something, whether you do it right or wrong. He's going to say something, it's nice to hear his voice."