Chatting Bucs-Rams With Raheem Morris

September 25th, 2021

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He’s seen enough of Tom Brady to last two lifetimes, but here he comes again.

Raheem Morris was coaching Atlanta receivers when Brady directed New England’s unforgettable Super Bowl comeback from a 28-3 deficit.

Last year, as interim head coach of the Falcons, Morris stood by helplessly as Brady shredded Atlanta’s defense twice in the final three weeks, throwing for 789 yards and six touchdowns.

When Sean McVay hired Morris in January to run the Rams defense, Morris quickly realized a legendary gunslinger would be coming to Los Angeles this fall. As the unbeaten Rams prepared for Sunday’s marquee matchup against the unbeaten Bucs, Morris kept looking at the film with disbelief.

Ira chatted with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, the former Tampa Bay head coach.

Born in 1976, Morris is only a year older than Brady, who has thrown nine TD passes during Tampa Bay’s 2-0 start.

“He’s just one of the best who ever played the game, arguably the best,” Morris said from Rams headquarters. “You’re talking about a guy who’s never out of the game. Last year in Atlanta we were up 17-0 on him and he’s ready to deal. As deep as he goes, you’ve got to go deeper. He’s resilient, he’s tough and he’s gonna find a way. He’s one of those guys who can fix problems immediately, better than anyone we’ve ever seen before.”

In Los Angeles, Morris has the privilege of coaching elite players like defensive lineman Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, both voted by their peers as the NFL’s best at their positions.

But when the Rams edged the Bucs 27-24 in a Monday night thriller last season, it was safety Jordan Fuller, a sixth-round pick out of Ohio State, who provided the winning margin with a pair of interceptions against Brady.

“I think it was his first two picks of his rookie season,” Morris said. “Jordan’s a big-time leader for us. He’s ahead of the curve when it comes to maturity, but he’s got a big-time challenge this week.”

Jalen Ramsey will be a harder to find on Sunday

Opposing quarterbacks have tried to avoid Ramsey for years. Why test the game’s premier shutdown corner if you can help it?

Morris, who coached Tampa Bay defensive backs for two years before replacing Jon Gruden in 2009, has installed a new wrinkle that makes Ramsey harder to isolate.

“We have the ability to move him around a little bit to make people throw at him and make him more versatile,” said Morris. “Playing him inside and outside makes him less avoidable. He’s one of the best I’ve seen do it in person. He absolutely loves football.”

Treasured History

No surprise when Sean McVay hired Raheem Morris to run the Rams’ stout defense.

Morris and his head coach worked together out of One Buc Place in 2008, when McVay was a 22-year-old assistant helping wide receivers like Ike Hilliard, Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant. McVay spent seven years with Washington before the Rams named him head coach in 2017.

“Sean was one of the guys that flocked around our defensive staff,” Morris recalled. “We had a lot of love for Sean, even then. You knew what he was going to become immediately upon meeting him. You’ve seen him develop over the years and it’s been fun for me to watch. I couldn’t be more proud of a friend and a boss.”

In three seasons with Morris at the helm, the Bucs went 17-31, losing their final 10 games in 2011 as a young quarterback named Josh Freeman imploded. For Morris, those Tampa roots still run deep.

“In this business, you run across a bunch of guys you cheer for,” he said. “In the Super Bowl, you still got guys that you love on the Chiefs. That was definitely a fun game to watch and I was excited for those guys, including the ownership.

“I couldn’t be happier for the Glazer family when they got a chance to win their second championship. It was a beautiful thing. My parents still live in Tampa, I still own property in Tampa. The amount of friends I made over the years there was amazing.”

The Falcons were 0-5 last season when Morris replaced Dan Quinn on an interim basis. That’s when owner Arthur Blank issued his unfortunate remark when asked whether Morris would have a serious shot at the permanent job.

Blank’s answer? Absolutely, if Raheem goes 11-0.

That snarky reply told Morris all he needed to know about his future with the Falcons.

Sure enough, Atlanta won four of its next six games before closing with a 5-game losing streak. For Morris, the only occupation worth talking about is the one he has at the moment.

“Right now, I’m here to help Sean McVay and the Rams organization win a championship,” he said. “Anything I can do in that regard would be beneficial for my growth. Right now, let’s be in the moment.

“Right now, let’s go out and play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, be a part of this big-time game and make the most of it. Those things come when you do your job. Right now, my job is to try and stop this high-powered offense, slow it down enough to get us a win.”

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19 Responses to “Chatting Bucs-Rams With Raheem Morris”

  1. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Yet another juicy subplot going into tomorrow’s tilt. Going into the season, it sure seemed like the Rams would be the stiffest competition in the NFC. This game is huge…at least worth 1.5 games in the standings/eventual seeding. LFG!

  2. Rico 210 Says:

    Thank you Sage.
    20-0 till it ain’t so
    Go Bucs

  3. Timbucs2 Says:

    I always liked Raheem. I wish him the best, except when he’s playing the Bucs!

  4. Razor Ramone Says:

    Always liked Raheem but they really threw him in the deep end when he was here.

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I have always had Mad Love for Raheem. He did so much here in Tampa, with so little. Of course, I want us to win very much, but I don’t hate the Rams, as I do the Saints, and the stinking Panthers.

  6. Swampbuc Says:

    Raheem was so green, so un-ready, back then. I do hope he gets another shot at being a head coach.

  7. teacherman777 Says:

    We need to sign Richard Sherman and trade for/sign Stephon Gilmore.

    Trade Rojo and OJ Howard and a 2nd round pick for Stephon Gilmore.

    Russ Cockrell is a great #6 CB but a horrible #4 CB.

    We need serious depth and talent to 3-peat.

    And that’s really what we are trying to do.

    Be the first team to ever 3-peat.

    And we need all hands on deck.

    So we need corners.


    Rojo and OJ are expendable.

    So is our 2nd round pick. Licht messes that up a lot anyway. lol.

    Go Bucs!

  8. Steven007 Says:

    777, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Repeat before 3-peat. The task at hand is hard enough without looking that far ahead. Will be very curious to see if they do any trades. Frankly I think rojo might be more expendable than OJ at this point, at least as far as the leadership is concerned. And I like rojo.

  9. Swampbuc Says:

    777 suffered a closed head injury recently. Take it easy on the little fella.

  10. ItzOK Says:

    Raheem wasnt ready to be the bucs head coach at the time. it was such a bad move for him it has taken 9 years after for him to even become a defensive coordinator again in this league.

    DC was the original job he was promoted to back in 09 and then the Glazers being so cheap back then decided to make him the youngest and least paid head coach in the NFL at the time.

    He sucked as the head coach and then when the Bucs D was horrible at the time he took over those duties as well and it all fell apart derailing him and his career.

  11. Your Mom Says:

    Must be tough to be an Atlanta fan after they ditch Dan Quinn and then ditch Raheem Morris. We’ll see I guess, but doesn’t seem like a very good ship from afar.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    @Raheem … “He (Tom Brady) is one of those guys who can fix problems immediately”.

    I’d think that would be close to the ultimate compliment for a QB. That to me is the very definition of a Field General. And Tom Brady is surely one of those.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    If the refs don’t completely blow that offensive PI call against Winslow in the endzone in that Detroit game, the Bucs win, make the playoffs, and more importantly it means the Packers don’t make the playoffs and we’re not subjected to a decade of terrible commercials featuring ‘super bowl champion’ Aaron Rodgers. Also it’s really unlikely, a year after making the playoffs, that Morris is fired, meaning that Jersey Trash ™ Schiano is never hired and maybe Freeman turns it around instead of turning to a life of drugs (allegedly).

  14. Swampbuc Says:

    Rod Munch, interesting thought about the parallel universe. More than likely though, the overconfidence and lethargy that infected the team in 2011 after 2010’s 10-6 would have even been worse if they’d been 11-5 with a playoff appearance.

    But it would be nice to put on the parallel universe goggles to see what would have happened, and I love the point about Aaron Rodgers. That sickening entitled biotch.

  15. Crickett Baker Says:

    Enjoyed the great article, Joe.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    Swampbuc – the big thing, if Morris is 11-5 and the team makes the playoffs, I just can not imagine the Glazers firing him just a year later under any circumstances. Also the Glazers were clearly targeting Chip Kelly, who they wanted, then they fired Morris — if they knew at the time that Chip would back out of the deal, I don’t believe for a second they would have still fired Morris in favor of Schiano.

    If Schiano isn’t here, and isn’t leaking Freeman’s medical records to the press and telling him he’s not allowed to get outside the pocket and putting big knee braces on him to make him immobile, I do wonder if whatever happened with Freeman would have still happened. Seemed like Schiano intensified whatever was going wrong there.

  17. Swampbuc Says:

    Could be Rod, Sadly we’ll never know.

  18. teacherman777 Says:


    lol. that was funny.

    Whats wrong with being 5 deep at CB?

    Davis, Gilmore, Dean, Sherman, Murphy Bunting, and Cockrell.

    Looks great to me!

  19. rrsrq Says:

    Rah, said he still talks with Ronde, I wonder about their conversations this week