“If We Had Better Quarterback Play, I May Not Be … Here”| Raheem Morris Is Not Protecting Feelings, He’s Hunting New Atlanta Falcons QB at NFL Combine

When Raheem Morris reportedly got the head coach job in Atlanta over New England Patriots legend Bill Belichick, the pressure was immediately on Morris to get a talented Falcons team over the hump and into perennial playoff contention. 

Atlanta’s passing offense ranked 22nd out of 32 NFL teams despite having talented weapons at running back and receiver and an 11th-ranked defensive unit. 

Desmond Ridder proved to be overwhelmed by the task, and backup Taylor Heinicke played like the journeyman he is. 

There are those who think Ridder could develop into a franchise quarterback, but Morris made it clear that at the NFL combine on Tuesday that he’s not going into the season with either of those quarterbacks. 

Morris is in Indianapolis to evaluate the class of incoming quarterbacks. The 47-year-old head coach, who was named Arthur Smith’s replacement on Jan. 25, took a total dump on both of his team’s incumbent quarterbacks.

“If we had better quarterback play I may not be standing here at the podium,” Morris said when addressing the media. 

Morris was with the Falcons organization from 2015-2020, but solid QB play was never a problem as Matt Ryan emerged as one of the NFL’s best signal-callers and even had the team positioned with a 28-3 third-quarter lead in the Super Bowl. 

Former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota was also trash. 

Quarterback will be the most important decision that Morris and the Falcons front office have to make.

Who Will Play QB For The Atlanta Falcons?

A solid signal-caller is the difference between job security and daily night sweats for a new NFL coach. Morris was fortunate to get another chance to be a head coach, 

The task of taking the Dirty Birds back to the big time is now Morris’. The 47-year-old coach, who succeeded Brandon Staley as Rams defensive coordinator in 2021, interviewed with the Falcons, Chargers, Washington Commanders, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

Morris has previous head-coaching experience with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009-201, winning 10 games in his second season. He’s also been interim coach of the Falcons for 11 games in 2020. 

“Raheem has a charisma, presence, and ability to communicate and connect with players and coaches that’s truly unmatched,” Rams coach Sean McVay said in a statement. “He epitomizes great leadership through the ways he elevates everyone around him and makes every environment he’s a part of better. Atlanta hired an incredibly special coach, but an even more exceptional person who will lead the right way.”

That’s big praise for Morris, who wants to start a new regime with a clean slate. 

When you hear Morris totally dismiss his current quarterback room, refusing to even be politically correct with how he addresses the future of two guys still on the active roster, it hints that Atlanta has already made a decision about what direction it will go in next season. 

The Chicago Bears will almost certainly pick USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who in recent reports is the No. 2 rated QB in the last 25 years behind Andrew Luck. 

Knowing the Bears are heavily leaning towards Williams also supports the rumored Justin Fields to Atlanta scenario. 

Fields would be a definite upgrade from what Atlanta has now, and he’s certainly more of a playmaker, but he’s also shown some limitations with his passing prowess. Then again, the Bears were almost bare in the weaponry department. The offense lacked innovation or tailoring to Fields’ strengths.  

Falcons Guaranteed To Draft or Sign A Franchise QB

General manager Terry Fontenot said that identifying Atlanta’s quarterback of the future  is a “top priority” this offseason. 

If the team fails to pursue an available free agent quarterback, the Falcons will probably draft one of the available rookie quarterback prospects in the first three rounds. Atlanta currently holds the Nos. 8, 43, 74, and 79 picks. If used wisely, these picks can elevate the franchise quickly. 

Morris is in Indianapolis to evaluate the class of incoming quarterbacks. He made it abundantly clear that the failure of past signal-callers has enhanced his return to the NFL head coaching ranks. The quarterback Morris brings into the fold will be automatically become the most vital piece for an Atlanta Falcons franchise that is still seeking its first Super Bowl win, and, to be honest, a quarterback that can move the needle and represent the city in the same way Mike Vick did.

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